Op Ed Draft—Lg102015

A New Beginning for Heroin Users

Allowing a place for Heroin addicts who do not have the funds to safely inject themselves and providing them with the free support they need to get past this hard time in their lives is exactly what needs to be done in the United States to reduce the amount of illegal substances addicts and overdoses taken place. Throughout the past couple of years, the United States has seen a huge increase in the amount of deaths due to overdoses, a couple cities within the US like New York City, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Seattle have decided to take action in this epidemic and open safe injection sites. This would be a place where addicts can go and inject illegal drugs safely, and while doing so they will be given free support with psychiatrist and rehab specialists so they can come up with a plan to take action on their addiction problem.

Most people would say that opening up a safe injection site in the United States is the last thing America needs right now. People believe that it would cause more people to try heroin, knowing that it would now be safer then what it once was. Others also don’t believe that safe injection sites truly help people with their addictions, they feel as if anything they make them want to keep using heroin knowing that their risk of overdosing or getting HIV has reduced significantly.

In Vancouver Canada, they have already opened about 4 safe injection sites called Insite. The United States has seen what great things Insite has done to the city of Vancouver and wants to get it to happen in the major cities that we have. Overdoses were a huge problem in Vancouver and just as people thought, after opening the Insite injection sites the numbers have went down immensely. The insite injection sites are only available for addicts and inside they have 12 booths where they give you a clean space to inject your self and they provide you with nurses who help you find the vein and they use needles properly and hygienically. They also help you filter the drugs so they make sure that you do not overdose. Insite in Canada is proof that opening these sites will do nothing but help the heroin addicts in the United States.

New York City, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Seattle may be the first cities in the United States to create supervised sites or safe injection sites for addicts in their city to shoot up illegal drugs in a safe space. Mayor De Blasio of New York City planed to open up 4 sites around the city, where they would be open as a pilot program for a year. At these sites, there will be trained staff who would be able to administer Naloxone, which will save someone who overdoses. There will also be social workers available to talk to the addicts and guide them in the right path. These cities are the ones in the United States with the most overdose and addiction problems. So having the sites opened up in these cities first will help our country immensely, and will open up doors for more sites like these to take place.


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1 Response to Op Ed Draft—Lg102015

  1. davidbdale says:

    This is quality work, LG, careful in its conclusions, supported with interesting evidence, and reasonable-sounding. It has the bones of a good Op-Ed, but you’ve got some work left to do.

    You haven’t asked for any specific feedback, so I’ll respond with fundamental argument and evidence critique. You can ask for more feedback after you’ve made substantial revisions.

    The first thing a critical reader of an Op-Ed wants to know is, “Why should I change my mind?” In an essay about being nice to drug addicts, your primary audience will be the reader who is suspicious of any program that takes a softer approach than “They broke the law when they started using illegal drugs; if they’re addicted now, that’s their own fault; why would I want to make drug-taking easier for them when they should really just be in jail?”

    So I ask you, will your essay change the mind of such a reader looking for a reason?

    What that reader wants to know:
    —Will the injection site benefit me?
    —Will it attract heroin users to my neighborhood?
    —Will it increase heroin use?
    —Is the community actually providing heroin for these addicts?
    —Will the site help addicts break their addiction?
    —Others? Most likely, but let’s start with these.

    If you don’t have answers, you will not convince any opponents to favor your proposal.

    But what if: The injection sites actually provide the heroin to make certain the stuff is clean and to be in charge of administering a maintenance dose. The addicts have to show up every day to receive their “benefit,” meaning they’re on the city payroll. There are always therapies and programs on offer, but they’re not required. The program is available only to addicts who have failed rehab and failed other programs first but have proved resistant to any sort of withdrawal protocol. No heroin is given to “rookies” ever. The payoff is not that addicts kick their habit. The payoff is that they stop filling up the emergency rooms, the jails, the courtrooms, costing the city millions of irrecoverable dollars. They stop mugging the neighbors, and breaking into homes and cars, infecting others with communicable diseases while prostituting themselves to gather enough money to score. In other words, they cost the city LESS and stop committing the crimes that are the real problem. How many questions would that answer?

    Check out the Vancouver program and any other that has shown success and see if they promote “addiction counseling” or “crime reduction” as the primary benefit.


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