Thursday, March 16, 2017

"Drugs are killing so many people in Ohio that cold-storage trailers are being used as morgues"

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2017/03/16/drugs-are-killing-so-many-in-this-county-that-cold-storage-trailers-are-being-used-as-morgues/?utm_term=.73af8f78d8a8

Summary:
Drug trafficking in the United States has been an issue for a long time. Recently, drugs have been becoming more potent as cartel and US-based manufactures push higher grade drugs into communities. As a result, fatalities from drug overdoses have become increasingly more common. The community in Stark County Ohio has seen an increase of drug overdose fatalities of 20% just from the last year alone. This increase has devastating implications. The article describes trauma 4 year old and 8 year old children have to face because the death of parents and close relatives because of these horrible overdoses. These are not just freak occurrences either - 26 people were killed by one specific strain of heroin alone with potency similar to that of elephant tranquilizer. The solution the community has is a bit morbid but necessary: have "mobile morgues," aka converted trailers, to deal with the increases in corpses. Overall, the US drug problem's horrible effects, including effects on family life,  are incredibly apparent in this Ohio community. 

Historical Connections:
This relates to the United States', and specifically President Ronald Regan's, "War on Drugs." The war on drugs is a highly debated topic that is regarded by some to be a failure, and this article shows how drugs have not been eradicated from society.
This also relates to recent legalization bills passed by select states on marijuana. Marijuana is considered federally as a Class 1 illegal substance. This is relevant to the article because it brings into question whether legislation should be change in favor of drugs or to crack down on their presence.

Key Questions:
How should this Ohio community manage the death caused by drugs?
How can the US as a whole reduce deaths from overdose?
Put yourself in the place of a child effected by a family overdose - How would you feel? How might this change your outlook on drugs in the future?
Why don't we hear about large numbers of overdoses here in San Mateo County when compared to other states/regions? 

17 comments:

  1. I believe that the government should have tighter security around substances such as those hurting and killing citizens. I think schools can emphasize the life-long consequences of misusing drugs and the effects it may have on the people around them. If I were in the position of knowing about a family overdose, I would be devastated that someone I knew would improperly use drugs and continue to use it, knowing what kind of a damages it has on the body and those around them. As for the San Mateo County, I think it includes decent living and very little/no poverty, therefore the people would not turn to addictions/overdose in drugs because we are too caught up in school, work, etc. Other regions/states may experience poverty/having very little, and drugs may be one of the few things they can own and turn to.

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  2. I agree with Sonia. Stricter drug laws, especially around hard drugs, need to be enforced, and offenders should have serious consequences. We also need to have health become a more important topic in school, teaching about the dangers of hard drugs from an early age, and implementing this teaching into education.

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  3. Stricter drug laws will be helpful. The punishment for getting caught with drugs should also be harsher. Schools can help by teaching young kids about the dangers of using drugs.

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  4. This is a weird solution to the problem. Instead of fighting heroin, actions are taken to accept a more bodies. Quite a counter intuitive solution. We need to put more regulations on pharmaceutical drugs to stop overdoses as a whole and stop people from transitioning from heroin to pharmaceuticals. We don't hear about this as much in San Mateo because drug problems are more prevalent in poorer areas.

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    1. I definitely see how you think the idea presented in the article is weird and counter intuitive. By building these extra morgues, they are almost accepting the number of deaths and saying "yeah, we'll just accommodate more deaths" instead of attacking the root of the problem. As for more tightly regulating pharmaceuticals, I'm sort of split. The more regulations you put on a product (whether this be taxes, mandatory safety checks etc) the more it costs to produce. This means pharma companies would likely increase prices, which may not seem like a huge issue but means the poor will be less able to afford medicines.

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  5. Stricter drug laws would be much more helpful for society. Punishments should be harsher. Schools will learn not to taper with these as long as the law is stricter about them.

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  6. I think Ohio should have stricter laws when it comes to the type of drug, how much they have with them, or how much they are on. Also people put up ads such as commercials or speak with doctors to become more aware of the dangers of drugs.

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  7. I think we should have stricter drug laws and more support groups and drug education in schools. At this point, it may seem impractical to "get rid" of all drugs however, by educating communities and having limits on over counter drugs, we my be able to decrease the number of deaths.

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  9. I think the Ohio community should have stricter laws on drugs, and make it harder to obtain certain drugs, especially the more dangerous ones. The US could help reduce the rate of drug related deaths by having the government take charge of manufacturing, and the selling of drugs. By doing this, the government could put regulations on the amount of drugs that could be sold to one person over a specific amount of time.

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  10. I really believe there should be stricter punishments for people handling illegal drugs, this will scare the other population and possibly push for rehabilitation for drug addicts. Speaking of, I also think rehabilitation should be made more available and more "announced" everywhere, making drug addicts think they have a way out. There should also be free seminars for the family members suffering from a drug addict's abuse to see how the family can help the drug addict.

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  11. I agree that Ohio should implement stricter drug control laws. I think they also need to work on raising overall awareness on the effects drugs have on the body and mind. As for why we don't hear about drug overdoses in San Mateo, most likely it is because there is not a large drug problem here like in other cities.

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  12. I agree that we should have stricter drug laws all throughout the US to avoid deaths caused by drug overdose. Instead of managing the deaths, caused by overdoses, it is better to implement stricter laws to attempt to limit drug trafficking.

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  13. first of all, did you really make a pun in the last sentence of your connection? second, I think if I were affected by someone who overdosed on drugs, I would be devastated (assuming I was close with him or her). I would strongly reconsider methods of dealing with drugs in the future and be cautious when using them.

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  14. The community should not be accepting the fact that people are overdosing. It just shows that they are complacent. Their solution should be to stop people from overdosing. The problem is partly education, but it mostly has to do with addiction. If we can set up more rehab centers, and get people to go to them, this problem would not exist.

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  15. I believe that people should do what they want to do with their body since it's their own. No one is going to be living their life for them so why should someone tell them how to run it. As long as they don't hurt others physically.

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  16. Stricter laws throughout the US should be put in place, because many hard drugs are easy to overdose from, people need to regulate perscription drugs more, so they stay with the patients and nogt others.

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