Nowadays, the problem of opioid addiction and drug abuse is still common in the United States of America and no consensus has been delivered. Despite the fact that the opioid crisis is associated, first of all, with the doctors that give prescription painkillers to most of the patients that feel pain, society discriminates against the opioid drug addicts. Though some believe that this is the problem only of drug addicted people, others consider that it has solved on the state level. At the same time, the idea that opioid addiction and drug abuse remain the unresolved question not only for those who are on the path of drug addiction but for doctors, pharmacies, government, and the society as a whole has also found its supporters. Thus, opioid crisis is a dilemma that is extremely vital currently, requires the thorough consideration, and finally demands certain actions from the whole society.
Considering the claim that drug abusers must pay the price of their criminal choices and actions, it should be mentioned that not all of those involved in opioid addiction are or certainly become criminals. As a rule, these people belong to the middle class and have different skin color, age and gender. They tend to ask a doctor for a medicine that can relieve the pain when they have headaches, glaucoma and other diseases (generally neurotic). Commonly, such medications become the opioids. In addition, the latter are the drugs that are used in medicine as powerful pain killers and have an effect that is similar to the opium. Using such a medicine, these people avoid painful feelings, obtain a sense of euphoria and, as a consequence, become addicted without even noticing it. Ceasing to use opioids does not solve the problem as, in such a case, the symptoms of diseases and pain can only worsen, making it impossible for patients to cope with the pains themselves, though previously the might be able to do that to some extent. It should also be noted that the use of opioid drugs is not criminal. Such people should not be conferred to the status of street drug addicts that often become criminals and tend to show aggression eventually leading even to stilling and killing. Most of those who use opioids are the middle-class white people that have their house, family and children (National Cannabis Industry Association, 2016). Moreover, they pay taxes, have insurance and live as the common American citizens. Therefore, this problem becomes a crisis for the whole state. One should also distinguish between people using opioids and those consuming cannabis for medicinal purposes. According to the recent data given by the National Cannabis Industry Association (2016), it seems that people who use cannabis, which also kills the pain and has an analgesic effect, as medicine are less addicted. It also shows that cannabis is significantly safer than any opioid. While it is well-known that a person using opioids cannot control the dose over certain period of time, which in some cases leads to the overdose, there isit no reliable data that consuming cannabis has the same consequences. Consequently, after the prolonged discussion, doctors and scientists came to the conclusion that a combination of opioids and cannabis is the best chose that, in perspective, can reduce the addiction and eliminate overdoses (National Cannabis Industry Association, 2016). Analyzing the above mentioned claim, it is inappropriate consider that drug addicts will pay for their criminal choices and actions as many of them did not do that choice and, generally, were not able to realize their addiction. Hence, as it turned out, those who use opioids, as a rule, cannot be accused of doing anything illegal.
Considering the claim that society should not help in multiple medical resuscitations for drug addicted because of their bad judgment, criminal activity, and self-inflicted wounds, it should be noted that this statement is also quite contradictory. On the one hand, what happens to drug addicts is only in their own hands. Nobody induces and forces them to use drugs, to take the path of degradation and deviation. Though many people choose exactly this way such a choice can be harmful not only to them but also to the whole society, ranging from families and friends till employers, US economy and so on. According to Castlight Health (2016), “opioid abuse costs employers approximately $10 billion from absenteeism and presenteeism alone”. On the other hand, it is worth understanding that not everyone becomes drug addicts of her or his own will and not everyone has a choice. Drugs can interfere with the life of some people from the moment of a birth, or rather even before the birth, when a mother is using drugs during pregnancy and a fetus suffers from this. Besides, families of drug addicts are very fragile, they break up early, and parents that suffer from drug addiction disappear from the children’s life – they die from the overdose, leave the family, or send their children to orphanages. As a rule, a family member that uses drugs encourages others from the close surrounding to experience the same. Consequently, a number of drug addicted children is constantly growing. This becomes a problem not only for a certain drug addict but for the whole society as well. Furthermore, it is also worth mentioning that these people, as a rule, do not commit a crime, though the maintenance and the treatment of such individuals is expensive enough, which is a loss for citizens and the state (Castlight Health, 2016). Moreover, people that become opioid addicted do not commit any crime in the process of consuming this particular type of drugs. Even supposing that it is a bad judgment, such people, as a rule, do not realize that they are addicted, so they have no guilt about it. These are the features of human psychology and physiology. When people kill the pain and feel well, they use more and more drugs to extend this pain-free time and, consequently, their organisms need it permanently and cannot even resist without these drugs. Therefore, it is very difficult to control these processes and confront the needs of the organism.
Regarding the opioid crisis, it is worth stating that the reason for the current situation in the United States is commonly doctors’ prescriptions. They, trying to appease the patients, give opioids prescriptions to almost everyone who feels a pain, which becomes the first step to addiction for many citizens. Thus, the opinion that society should not help drug addicts is to the greater extent erroneous. It is crucial to understand that the problem of opioid addiction as well as drug addiction in general is a challenge for the whole society. Ultimately, a human is a social being, and everything that happens to him affects the society.
The statement that when people die from overdoses, it just removes them from the gene pool evokes the belief that the drug addiction is a dilemma not only for particular communities but for the whole nation as well. Indeed, according to the preliminary assessment of The New York Times (Katz, 2017) in 2016, 59 to 65 thousand people became victims of the overdoses, which is much more than the annual number of deaths in car crashes. Moreover, as reported by Castlight Health (2016), “16 thousand people die every year from prescription opioid overdoses – that is approximately two-thirds of all deaths from overdoses are due to the use of opioids”. As a result, recently, the US President Donald Trump responded to this problem and accentuated the administration’s attention on its solution and increased control at the US-Mexico border (Glenza, 2017). However, he did not take into account the pharmaceutical companies that supply these opioids. It caused a social resonance among the US people who abuse opioids. Additionally, it is worth noting that drug addicts who die from overdoses do not simply remove themselves from the gene pool, they also cause a lot of harm. Individuals with drug addiction live for many years destroying themselves, society, moral rules and the lives of people around them. They give birth to unhealthy and poorly developed children, badly affect nature, their families and close surrounding, and economy as well the level of well-being in the country. These addicted persons give drugs to others for a try and even distribute them. Therefore, the gene pool is destroyed by most of the drug addicts during their life. Even if such persons pay taxes and have jobs and families, they do not develop the gene pool and the society at all. Moreover, drug addiction as a phenomenon increasingly affects young people, depriving the society of a significant number of its members who could in the future bring considerable benefits to society as it usually happens with a healthy young generation. Hence, drug addicts can hinder various social processes because, instead of raising the economy of the country, they increase the burden on social assistance systems and even exacerbate the criminal situation. Though numerous efforts are taken to prevent and organize the treatment of drug addiction, the number of patients is steadily growing. This challenge affects the health of not individual citizens, but a society as a whole that cannot be safe until this really complicated problem is solved. Possessing a great destructive force in relation to the human body and psyche, drugs act primarily on the young, namely the most active part of the population. Drug abuse is directly related to a number of chronic and even incurable diseases such as AIDS and hepatitis. In addition, drug addicted mothers give birth to unhealthy and inferior children. Therefore, drug addicts who die from overdoses do not only remove themselves from the gene pool, these persons also can cause a lot of harm to the whole gene pool, which is particularly detrimental to the next generations.
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To summarize, it should be mentioned that opioid addiction and drug abuse cannot be a personal matter. Drug addiction with its causes and consequences is a significant social problem. The wellbeing is basis for the community that can be eliminated by the drug abuse. Consequently, modern society should not only reanimate such people but also help them to overcome the drug addiction because the society’ interest is also involved in the dilemma. Thus, opioid crisis is a problem that is extremely critical nowadays and requires the detailed consideration and certain actions from the whole society to eradicate it.
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