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The Growing Heroin Epidemic

The heroin epidemic is a rapid widening of the use of heroin in the United States. The continued usage of cheap opioid painkillers encouraged the use of heroin. The heroin epidemic crisis has increased because of the easy accessibility of opioid drugs since the 2000s. These strong painkillers include oxycodone, hydrocodone, and other strong painkillers. Since 1972, the substances have been popular for formal medical treatment and recreational drugs. The painkillers have a sedative effect on the part of the brain that regulates breathing, and its overdose may cause respiratory depression and death according to (Frontline).

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, overuse of heroin and opioid drugs has reached an epidemic level in the United States. From 1999 to 2008, the sales, overdose death rates, and abuse of substance treatment rapidly increased among the youth. The drug abuse crisis has changed the social, moral, and cultural resistance to street drugs such as heroin. In the 1800s, opioid painkillers were used for pain relief and cough relief. At the beginning of 1920, addictiveness was discovered, and doctors were reluctant to prescribe opiates to the patient. Heroin addiction made the headlines in the 1970s when a star like Janis Joplin overused the drug. Drug abuse has grown from the rich families to the middle-class people in America.

Why Is This Considered An “Epidemic”?

The epidemic is increasingly widespread of the use of prescription and non-prescription opioid drugs that lead to overdose death. The rate at which the sales and overdose death rates are increasing is alarming in the United States and is a disaster.

What Are The Biggest Challenges In Fighting Heroin?

Safe injection site centers were started to reduce the amount of heroin in the environment. However, the lawmakers were against it since it endorses an environment for drug abuse. The prescription of heroin is supposed to help in reducing addiction, but it is viewed as a way of encouraging the use of illegal drugs. Rather, a methadone clinic is preferred. Medication treatment centers were challenged that government-sponsored addiction usually moves addicts from the use of one drug to another. This makes the patient addicted to another drug instead of recovering from heroin addiction. Naloxone used to treat addiction I expensive for the addict it cost has increased from 20$ to 40 % per dose last year.

Work Cited

Frontline. “Chasing Heroin.” 2016,



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