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Chasing Heroin by Marcela Gaviria: Film Analysis

To eradicate the major drug crisis in America, programs like LEAD have been instituted to help the drug addicts as they give the individuals who are using drugs relief. In the centers, the individuals always feel secure and share their feelings and experiences. The people are allowed to move at their rate without being pressured by anyone because they already have a lot of stress on themselves with all they are undergoing while taking the medications. It is senseless to criminalize somebody who has been continuously abusing drugs when they have no reports of participating in criminal acts. The purpose of this paper is to critically analyze the claims made in the film “Chasing Heroin.”

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According to the film “Chasing Heroin,” Nora Volkow argues that the administration of all drugs erodes the functioning of the frontal cortex and uses a metaphor to explain it. She likens it to driving a car with no brakes (Volkow). In addition, there are no adequate resources to help people struggling with heroin and opioid addictions. Drug abusers do not have any money because they waste it on the substances they use, which are costly (Gaviria). Therefore, even if the users desire to abuse substances, there is no way they can afford it unless they seek financial assistance from their friends and relatives where possible.

Moreover, the shortage of community workers in society forces police officers to undertake the duties and responsibilities of social workers. The law enforcers adopt the duties of community workers and take counselor roles, more specifically in areas where the opioid epidemic is highly concentrated (Nolan and Amico). Police departments initiate programs that help abusers find treatment and partner with hospitals to institute intervention policies before users overdose (“Why police officers”). The initiative goes beyond looking for medication for the addicts, which means that they provide proper care, guidance, and support to the children of the affected families (NIDA). Police officers who apply social work skills to inform their intervention and prevention policies are well equipped to assist the most vulnerable in the community.

One of the challenging factors in managing heroin addiction is inadequate funding in the institutions that provide care to the victims. The highest percentage of drug users are relatively poor in their communities (NIDA). Their economic and social disadvantage are strongly linked with drug abuse disorder, especially when recurrent drug use becomes a detriment to a person’s health. Again, more of the funding may be channeled towards caring for the victim’s families, which leaves no resources for the facilities (Utley). While heroin and opioid addictions run rampant in societies and families in the United States, the insufficiency of funding available to treat their disorders stands in far contrast (NIDA). Finding a way to wean from heroin requires a lot of time, resources, patience, a desire to change, and a community willing to help.

In conclusion, misuse of medicinal drugs means taking a medication in a manner other than that prescribed or taking someone else’s prescription, even if for a legitimate medical complaint such as pain or taking a drug to feel euphoria (NIDA). Some of the interventions to prevent drug abuse include; understanding how substance abuse develops, examining the risk factors, and avoiding peer influence. Other strategies include behavioral modification interventions, family counseling and case management, and mass media campaigns.

Works Cited

Volkow, Dr. Nora. The Importance of Prevention in Addressing the Opioid Crisis. 2019. Web.

Gaviria, Marcela. Chasing Heroin. 2016. Web.

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Why Police Officers Are Taking on Social Worker Responsibilities. 2019. Web.

Nolan, Dan and Chris Amico. How Bad is the Opioid Epidemic? 2016. Web.

Utley, Tori. The Multibillion-Dollar Epidemic: 5 Takeaways from PBS’ ‘Chasing Heroin’. 2016. Web.

NIDA. “Preventing Drug Misuse and Addiction: The Best Strategy.” National Institute on Drug Abuse. 2020. Web.

NIDA. “Prescription opioid use is a risk factor for heroin use.National Institute on Drug Abuse. 2015. Web.

NIDA. “Prescription opioid use is a risk factor for heroin use.” National Institute on Drug Abuse. 2015. Web.

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