The Opioid Crisis: Current And Past Policies Coastal Carolina University/English Argumentative Paper

1540 words - 7 pages

War on Drugs
Chris Herren, a former NBA basketball player and Boston Celtic, once fell into the grasp
of opioids, rarely playing a game sober, avoided being one of the 115 deaths from overdosing
each day in America, despite numerous overdoses. The opioid epidemic is prevalent in America
at this moment in time and the solution needs to be reconsidered. These legal pills, illegal drugs,
or even synthetic drugs are taking over the lives of many and are easily accessible. Most of the
time, innocent people of all backgrounds have some form of surgery that require pain
medications, and doctors are over prescribing medication to patients. When the patients are taken
off the medications, they become reliant on the drug and often switch to a cheaper and more
accessible alternative; heroin. The United States needs to constantly update policies including
strengthening borders, set clear disciplinary actions, and reconsider using narcan on repeating
overdosers.
Currently, the United States drug policy is based around not defining this opioid problem,
but rather, “The War on Drugs.” People and past administrations clearly realize that this opioid
crisis is a serious problem and an epidemic, but no one is really doing anything about it. When
Obama was president some initiatives were taken to help, but nothing really ended up helping in
the long run. In 2010, Obama devoted over $340 million to the prevention and treatment of
heroin abuse, and since then nothing huge has really changed (Felter). The administration also
increased the number of officials on the border, and provided Mexico and Colombia with $13
billion in counternarcotics aid (Felter). Last year, the DEA ​reduced production quotas​ for
pharmaceutical manufacturers by at least a quarter for opioids categorized as Schedule II drugs,
or ones that are currently accepted for medical use but have a high risk of misuse; these include
oxycodone, fentanyl, and morphine (Hoban). Obama also tried to reduce the prison sentences for
nonviolent heroin offenders during his time, but failed to secure a larger law for this issue
(Felter).
On the other hand, Donald Trump’s initiative to stop the opioid crisis has to do with
limiting over-prescription, stopping illicit drug supplies, and making the recovery centers more
efficient and accessible. In more detail, he will reduce the drug demand through education,
awareness, and preventing doctors from overprescribing their patients. Finally, this is an example
of updated policies and it seems to be working. These improvements will include supporting
research and development for a vaccine to prevent opioid addiction and non-addictive pain
management options. His way of limiting the amount of overprescription here is to cut
nationwide opioid prescription fills by a third within three years (Healthcare). When it comes to
numbers, the government would like to ensure that 3/4 of opioid medications are reimbursed by
the healthcare programs, and President Trump wants...

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