Opiate Addiction

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A.Identify a Social Problem

The social effects of opiate addiction are felt by those who may have never even seen more than an image of heroin. For example; “In an early study, for example, Inciardi reported that a cohort of 239 male heroin addicts from Miami committed 80,644 criminal acts during the 12 months before being interviewed (Inciardi, 1979).”. (Strain and Stitzer, 2006) In part, this is due to the problems associated with the severe withdrawal symptoms that begin about 18 hours after the last use, and the result that addicts will do almost anything to avoid them. These include sweating, vomiting, insomnia, cold sweats, pain in the limbs, yawning, sneezing, severe bone and muscle aches, diarrhea, stomach cramps and fever.

Socioeconomic status is also a glaring problem that needs to be addressed. “Most opiate addicts are under age 30, of low socioeconomic status, and poorly educated.” (Zastrow, 267) Education would appear to be a viable solution here, but where does one start? Simply, the addict should be aided with fundamental assistance and training to begin to assimilate, and society at large should be helped to better understand and foster an attitude of understanding and patience based on education that is not fear-based; as has historically been the case. Analogously, this is best summarized by saying, “The public’s general lack of accurate information about drugs has led to irrational fears about drug use and abuse. For example, there is the fear that use of marijuana will always be a stepping stone to use of narcotic drugs.” (Zastrow, 281) While some studies can present declining drug use and attribute it to more rigid drug laws and enforcement, it as difficult to separate the efficacy of other treatment alternatives, such as methadone, as legislation has typically toughened as other options are approached. The correlation is most difficult to divide as a result. B.Identify the current social policy and practices

The...
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