Op-ed for Portfolio-LG102015

A New Beginning for Heroin Users

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 than 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 gone down immensely. The insite injection sites have 12 booths where they give you a clean space to inject yourself and they provide you with nurses who can 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 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 planned 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. 

The United States is currently going through the biggest opioid epidemic we have ever seen, there has been nearly 400,000 deaths due to overdose of opioids in the US from 1990-2017. On average there is about 130 deaths due to opiod overdoses per day. I understand that some people would believe that addicts did it to themselves. They broke the law in the first place and tried the addictive drug, so why would we give them more to support their addiction? Insite has proven to improve this epidemic, they provide the heroin to make sure it is clean, and to administer the proper dosage so that an overdose do not take place. Insite is not just for “rookie” heroin users to get a clean shoot up, the program is specifically for addicts who have failed rehab and failed other programs before Insite, but they have proved that they are resistant to withdraw. 

Addicts don’t just affect their own lives with their addiction, they affect all the people around them as well. The major cities where this epidemic is taking place is paying millions of dollars for addicts to be in emergency rooms, courtrooms, and jails. These cities will be saving so much money once Insite opens up and is the cause for less overdoses and crimes. This also goes for the people in the cities as well. Insite will cause addicts to stop mugging their neighbors, and breaking into homes and cars just so they can get the money they need to get their supply of heroin. Addicts who prostitute themselves just to get enough money to score. Insite will do so much more then just save the addicts of the city, it has been shown in Vancouver that it will benefit all of the citizens of the city that surrounds it. These cities just need the support of their citizens to make it happen.

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3 Responses to Op-ed for Portfolio-LG102015

  1. davidbdale says:

    P1. You do yourself no favor by filling your opening paragraph with counterarguments, LG, before establishing any of the positive values of a safe injection site. You could begin by saying that they take most of the risk out of needle injection. You could say that they improve the health of addicts. You could say that they prevent the nuisance crimes that addicts commit to feed their habits (robbery, burglary, car and home break-ins, muggings, prostitution). You could say that they keep addicts from clogging up the overburdened social service system, keep them out of emergency rooms, keep them out of police custody. You could say that they make getting clean more likely by freeing up addicts from the ancillary burdens of their addictions.

    You could say a lot, even most of that, before you allow that, despite those benefits, “People reflexively say that injection sites are objectionable, or useless, or cynical because they permit bad behavior instead of pressing addicts to get clean.

    If you started with the positives, the objections of “most people” that you raise would seem, as I think you want them to, uninformed.

    You’ll need a conclusion, too. Your essay doesn’t conclude at the moment, it just ends.


  2. davidbdale says:

    You haven’t asked for specific advice, LG, so I’m going to concentrate on fundamental argument feedback. But first, I’ll address the needs of your classmates who have asked me for specific advice.


  3. davidbdale says:

    Without asking for specific feedback, LG, you’ll drop to the bottom of the Queue. Want faster responsiveness? Ask for something. Engage in the conversation.


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