Essay on Opioid Epidemic in the United States

Date:  2021-06-17 08:13:22
2 pages  (476 words)
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The opiate or c refers to the overwhelming increase in the use of both the prescribed and non-prescribed opioids. Today in the United States, and precisely across New Jersey, opioid abuse is considered to be at epidemic levels. This being the case, over the recent years, New Jersey has been taken into account one of the states that have seen a sharp increase in opioid overdose-related deaths. Besides, according to a 2015 report by the New Jersey Medical Examiners office, drug overdose deaths totaled to 1587, a considerable 21% increase from what was experienced in 2014 (Stirling, 2016).

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However, from a nursing perspective, substantial advocacy efforts, which seek to provide care to the affected families, individual, communities, and populations, have been put in place. For instance, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a majority of the people who happen to be addicted to the prescription opioids have a 40% likelihood of being addicted to substances such as heroin (Stainton, 2017). Therefore, nurses and the New Jersey healthcare sector as a whole, have come up with a significant advocacy plan which aimed at raising awareness of the rapid increase in the opioid epidemic in New Jersey communities. In a similar regard, a plan to provide resources for the treatment and prevention of opioid addiction has been put to place (Adams, 2016).

As the awareness of opioid addiction increases, statistics in New Jersey indicate that more people are reaching out for the laid advocacy plans and hence receiving treatment with consequent admissions to drug treatment plans. Nonetheless, reports show that there have been various barriers facing the implementation of the advocacy projects. For example, according to New Jerseys governor, Chris Christie, one common barrier to the implementation of the advocacies that try to facilitate peoples return to normalcy is the long accepted exclusions from employment for those who were formally incarcerated. This, in essence, has prevented many opioid addicts from seeking treatment since they do not see a future for themselves, even after recovering from the addiction (Yi, 2017)


Adams, T. (2016). Opiate addiction: The painkiller addiction epidemic, heroin addiction and the way out (1st ed.). Rapid Response Press.

New Jersey Governor's Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. (2014). Confronting New Jersey's new drug problem: A strategic action plan to address a burgeoning heroin/opiate epidemic among adolescents and young adults.

Stainton, L. H. (2017, April 18). Can Abuse-Deterrent Opioids Help Stem NJs Drug Epidemic? - NJ Spotlight. Retrieved from

Stirling, S. (2016, December 7). Overdose deaths skyrocket in N.J. as opioid epidemic proves unassailable | Retrieved from

Yi, K. (2017, January 17). Gov. Christie declares opioid drug abuse a public health crisis | Retrieved from

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