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Article Review: Addiction in America: A Big Problem is Getting Bigger

Published under category: Sample Essays | 2017-12-05 23:03:06 UTC

Context: Psychology

In the article, “Addiction in America: A Big Problem is Getting Bigger”,  an excerpt from Psychology Today,  published by Sussex Publishers LLC, Katherine Schreiber describes the drug addiction in the United States and how the government and the society is coping with the problem. She focuses on prescription drug problem which she says affects most drug addicts. According to her article, of the 21.6 million United States citizens addicted to substance, 15.3 million of them are addicted to prescription drugs. Schreiber then explains the common cause of prescription drug addition, current trends and the adopted solutions. Her article gives a clear picture of how addiction affects Americans, the solutions effected, but it lacks convincing argument on how the drug addiction problem is to be solved by providing more medical funds.

Consequences of prescription drug addiction are cited as death and health complications. According to Schreiber’s article, more than one hundred people die from prescription drug misuse everyday while more than six thousand are admitted to hospital for serious complications (Schreiber, 2016). Despite the efforts to control prescription drug abuse, the problem is becoming worse with the number of addicts increasing every year. This shows that the methods employed in combating prescription drug abuse are not as effective as is desired and the approaches to combating the drug problem are misguided or flawed. According to Schreiber, economic consequences of the drug problem amount to 200 billion US dollars in costs for the United States healthcare system.

Schreiber then identifies the source of the prescription drug addiction problem and the reasons for its worsening. She says that the only reason more people are becoming addicted to prescription drugs is because of the availability of drugs. For example, she cites remainder of a prescription dosage as an accessible source of drugs for relatives of the patients to abuse. Ease of access has increased addicts by 2.8 million people every year. Subsequently, Schreiber identifies access for treatment for prescription drug addiction as the solution addicted people do not have. She says, “Unfortunately, not everyone suffering from a drug-abuse problem receives appropriate treatment”. This is an admission that even though some people access treatment other addicts do not. She finally paints a positive view of the future by saying that the Affordable Care Act (2010) enables insurance coverage of prescription drug problem, providing hope.

In providing her solution, Schreiber fails to note that the real problem as she admits is actually availability of the prescription drugs as she earlier contends. On the other hand, she offers funding of treatment of prescription drug addicts as the solution to t he growing problem of addiction. She writes, “The Mental Health Parity Act, much of which went into effect in July 2014, paves the way for many more millions of Americans needing specialized addiction treatment to receive it.” In this statement, she views the new additional law that facilitates treatment as a solution to worsening prescription drug problem.  In contrast, the appropriate solution should be reduction of the rate of addiction as well as treatment of existing addicts. Schreiber is without doubt able to describe the problem of prescription drug addiction in the United States. Secondly, she is able to identify the originator of the problem as the increased availability of prescription drugs to potential drug addicts. However, she is unable to match the solutions to the problems as described.

In conclusion, Katherine Schreiber’s article is able to describe the gravity of the problem of prescription drug abuse in the United States. The author illustrates how increased availability of legal drugs has led to addiction of people. She further demonstrates how lack of proper treatment of drug addiction is leading to death and health complications among addicts. However, she provides a seemingly wrong ultimate solution for the problem by citing increased funding as the probable correct remedy. While Schreiber accurately describes the problem, she errs in identifying solutions.

Schreiber, K. (2016). Addiction in America: a Big Problem is Getting Bigger. Psychology Today.



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