Prescription Drug Abuse Crisis | Teen Ink

Prescription Drug Abuse Crisis

August 22, 2019
By CelineK GOLD, Fortlee, New Jersey
CelineK GOLD, Fortlee, New Jersey
15 articles 3 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
“There something hidden in all of us. Small gift waiting to be discovered.” ~Jacqueline Woodson

Can you think of one silent epidemic killing about 174 people every day? I’ll wait. You're probably thinking about diseases sweeping the country and wars across the world, but other everyday things hurt, too. I’ll give you a hint. Think of what happens when you get an injury. Where do you go? The doctor, right? The person you rely on to inform you about your health and provide medicine when you need it. Did you know that some of the pills your doctor gives you to help, actually hurt? You might be thinking, “what can the doctor’s harmless pills do?” but the millions of people that have overdosed or have been significantly affected by misusing prescription drugs know better. 

These pills range from the popular opioid that in 2017 killed more than forty-seven thousand people, according to The Council on Foreign Relations to CNS depressants that have killed 11, 537 people in the same year. Prescription drug abuse and addiction are causing unemployment rates, the money spent on addiction treatment, and the total economic burden of the US to increase, greatly affecting the economy.  Addiction is a serious issue that claims many lives, disrupts many people’s neurological system, and can affect all age groups, as young as teenagers.  The government has enacted risk-management plans for drug abuse and is considering sponsoring “safe-injection sites,” which are not effective because they are promoting the continuation of drug abuse, but more freely. 

What America needs is a government that saves millions of people from dying because of companies that have been killing people with their drugs just for money since the 1900s. What America needs are communities that support doctors monitoring their patient’s drug use for the promise of a safer future. What America needs is to take the opportunity to provide treatment and rehab to convict, lessening  the chance of future drug convictions. We must fight against the misleading pharmaceutical companies with the people of America watching, so we can eradicate further false publicity. Monitoring the drug use of every patient will improve doctors’ ability to catch abuse and treat it early. Finally, drug courts are one of the most effective strategies for reducing recidivism, the tendency of a convicted criminal to reoffend. Prosecutors, courts, and prisons must seize the opportunity to improve the lives of thousands of addicts by using the criminal justice system to offer effective treatment for those in need of it. The government has to take a stand on this issue and address it head on with hope. We, as American citizens, must strive to prevent millions of patients from falling into the painful loop of addiction. Ignorance is not the solution. Unawareness is not the solution. Action is the solution. We must take action. If America has created and followed through on their solutions for lethal epidemics such as HIV which has killed approximately 940,000 people in 2017, the future still has hope for citizens and the government of America to work together to end prescription drug abuse. 

The author's comments:

- A speech about the uprising of prescription drug addiction for my History and English project, Mad: Making A Difference -

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