The first article that I will discuss today is called “Drug Overdose Deaths Among Adolescents Aged 15–19 in the United States: 1999–2015”. This is a scholarly article from the “National Center for Health statistics”, which I found through the database Academic Search Ultimate. But how much has this war on drugs actually affected the number of adolescents using illicit substances? It has had very little, if any affect whatsoever. This article has lots of numerical data that shows the trend of drug overdoses/deaths related to drugs in Americans age 15–19, including divisions by sex, and by race. The main focus of this article is drug overdoses related to opiates but does touch base on other substances also (such as cocaine, benzodiazepines, and alcohol). Rates of drug overdoses from opiates in adolescents age 15–19 more than tripled from 1999–2007.
This article is rather brief but I find it has some vital information for my essay. Much of the time when people are talking about the war on drugs and why we need to try to eradicate use is because “of our children”. This article helps me point out that our effort to lower rates of use, overdoses, and essentially death from substances has entirely failed even in the adolescent category. I think article will help me to prove that the time is now to try and implement a harm-reduction style of treatment to stop the large numbers and overdoses in America.
Sally, Curtin C. “Drug Overdose Deaths Among Adolescents Aged 15–19 in the United States: 1999–2015.” National Center for Health Statistics, №282, 2017, pp. 1–8.
The next article that I have chosen to discuss today is called “HARM REDUCTION: A Social Work Practice Model and Social Justice Agenda”. This article touches base on what exactly the term “Harm Reduction” really means as a social work practice. One of my favorite quotes from this article is “The main criticism of current drug policy is that, despite the financial expenditures for drug control enforcement and the severe infringement on social justice and human rights, illicit drug use continues, and the needs of those who seek treatment are not being sufficiently met”. This quote is speaking about the current policies that America has tried to follow in order to eradicate drug use. This article also talks about how our main focus has been to entirely stop the supply/demand for drugs, rather than trying to treat our addicts.
This article is extremely helpful to my research for a number of reasons. The first being that it gives very solid and concrete definitions and reasoning’s as to why we should switch to a harm reduction model of treatment. Many people continue to use despite knowing the dangers and possible harm that can come with using, both physical and mental. “Because most stringent efforts have failed to eliminate drug use and prohibitionist policies have served to increase some forms of harm, a pragmatic approach is to control the risks and reduce the harm inherent in drug-taking behavior. Quite logically then, reduction in use and the application of safer using practices have resulted in improved health and social circumstances” (Brocato). The statement right there perfectly describes why I believe we, as a society must take on a harm reduction style of treatment in order to save thousands of lives.
Brocato, Jo, Wagner, Eric F. “HARM REDUCTION: A Social Work Practice Model and Social Justice Agenda.” Health and Social Work, Vol. 28, Issue 2, 2003.