Drugs Next Door

Camilo Zeballos, Reporter

 Recently, the Center for Decease Control (CDC) has released their preliminary reports for deaths related to opioid overdose, and the numbers are increasingly concerning. According to the CDC there are some states that have death tolls that are up to 33% higher than they were just a year prior.

Some states, like North Carolina, have more than 2,000 reported cases this year alone, and other such as Pennsylvania with almost 6,000 reported cases. While as a whole the United States has only seen an increase of 6.6%, the death reports show nearly 70,000 deaths with about 1,000-2,000 more undocumented cases. It’s an ongoing problem that started in the 90’s and has lasted for almost two decades. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse in 2015 “an estimated 2 million people” suffered from drug-related abuse and problems here in America.

 Recently, President Trump declared the epidemic a public health emergency and has promised to treat it as such. Earlier this year in March, The White House announced that a new website had been founded called, CrisisNextDoor.gov, where “Americans can share their own stories about the dangers of opioid addiction.” Trump also said in a speech to Manchester Community College,  “This epidemic can affect anyone, and that’s why we want to educate everyone,” further supporting his idea of this new website.

One of the major problems with this epidemic is anyone can get opioids. All you need is a prescription for pain medication or know the right corner of the street. Opioids such as heroin, and Fentanyl are easily available to adults and teens,  and they are extremely addictive. In addition,  these drugs are not taken by themselves but are often combined with multiple other drugs including cocaine.  The U.S. government and the Ameican public is beginning to understand why this is such a raging epidemic and that we must take action.