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Summary of the article
The article explores abuse of prescription drugs in the United States. It starts by asserting that opioid addiction levels are quite high in the country. Consequently, it compares the level of abuse of opioid to that of marijuana. The article goes on to state that addiction to opioid is quite predominant in the country. Therefore, drug abuse is a major concern. The article gives record of drug abuse in the past decade, which is quite alarming.
In addition, it provides statistical records of abuse in the recent past. This shows a correlation that raises concern on drug abuse in American society. The article attributes these changes partly to modifications in prescription practices, increased access, and alterations in formulations. Of great concern is the use of internet, which has brought drugs close to potential abusers. Moreover, long-term use of opioid for treatment has also attributed to addiction or abuse by some patients.
In this regard, the article explores significant areas of research that have the capability of minimizing addiction or abuse of prescriptive drugs. Moreover, it looks at modes of detecting and managing addiction in time to avert potential abuse of drugs by patients. Likewise, it encourages works to develop opioid analgesics with capability of reducing the chances of possible abuse.
Moreover, the article explores the possibilities of developing analgesics, which are non-opioid but effective and safe to users. However, given the high rate of drug abuse in teenagers, the article recommends urgent research on the best treatment modes for pain that is observed in most adolescents. Besides, it explores ways of initiating urgent research on methods of acquiring preventive approaches that would minimize abuse and addiction.
The article considers it essential that drug abuse among adolescents be given priority in finding ways of prevention since they are the most affected group. The article concludes by recommending urgent research on ways of preventing addiction and abuse of drugs in order to save the future of American society (Compton & Volkow, 2006, p. 103–107).
Core issues and the wider context framing these issues
The core issues mentioned in the article revolves around addiction and abuse of opioid agents as well as its relation to the use of heroin and marijuana. Moreover, the article explores its effect on American society. The article focuses mainly on adolescents who are notorious for abusing these drugs. Moreover, it gives a brief but detailed history of drug abuse, especially the use of opioid agents in the country.
It alludes to the fact that addiction to prescription drugs is steadily rising in the country with statistics showing that secondary school students, especially 12th grades, are the most affected. In this regard, it lists marijuana as the most commonly abused drug in adolescents of that age group. Interestingly it lists opioid agents as the second in line after marijuana. This shows the extent to which opioid agents affect society through abuse in youths.
However, it mentions the fact that existing research on abuse of opioid research is limited, especially in areas concerning use of the terms dependence, misuse, addiction, or abuse. In this regard, it recommends definitions that specify the mode of opioid abuse (Compton & Volkow, 2006, p. 103–107).
The article also gives striking statistics on the records of abuse of opioid agents by adolescents in the United States. For instance, it states that about 4.7% household residents of the country have, at one time or another, abused opioid agents. This represents 11 million adolescents over 12 years old.
Interestingly, about 13.7% of the aforementioned have also validated its symptoms as given by DSM-IV. In essence, the article uses statistics from research findings around the country to validate drug abuse. It also looks at the patterns of prescriptions and its interrelation with abuse or diversion. It also looks into the change in prescription that is suspected to cause opioid abuse.
The article also explores the increasing access to opioids and the drugs to adolescents with advent of the internet. The internet has brought drugs close to potential abusers through online stores that run such cartels. The article also investigates the variables that contribute to addiction or abuse of these drugs. Consequently, the article also researches on scientific questions, which calls for urgency of research on drug abuse among adolescents.
The article; therefore, raises several core issues ranging from validation of abuse among adolescents, importance of opioid analgesics, patterns of prescription, increased access, and the urgency for research and development of corrective mechanisms (Compton & Volkow, 2006, p. 103–107).
Analysis of main arguments
The article begins by validating or collecting evidences related to abuse of drugs by adolescents. In fact, it begins with a wider view of drug abuse that includes abuse of marijuana, opioid analgesic, and heroin. It utilizes credible sources to validate the view that drug addiction to opioid analgesic is quite rife in the United States.
The article uses sources such as Johnston et al., among others to validate its arguments. The article also gives its take on the possible causes of increased abuse of prescription drugs. In this regard, it gives reasons such as easy access (internet), changes in drug prescription and formulation. Moreover, it suggests that prolonged use of the drugs also work to influence addiction.
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These arguments are also based on research done by other bodies known to be credible and non-partisan. This makes the article’s arguments quite positive although there has to be other driving forces in the context. These may include peer pressure, ignorance, poor prescription procedures, among others. In essence, these sources may be the main ones but they are not final (Compton & Volkow, 2006, p. 103–107).
The article also tries to propose possible ways of minimizing abuse of opioid analgesics among adolescents. In doing this, it proposes extensive research on ways of minimizing risks of drug abuse. These include developing drugs that minimize possibilities of abuse, developing non-opioid analgesics to minimize abuse, and developing ways of detecting as well as managing addictions.
The article also stresses the need to urgently research on methods of treating adolescents that suffer from pain in order to control diversion. The article; therefore, emphasizes the need to minimize drug abuse among the adolescents. This is important although focus should also be aimed at other members of society as they contribute heavily on the development of adolescents.
For instance, parents, teachers, and mentors who deal with this group of teenagers need to be educated on ways of helping to minimize its abuse among them. Moreover, health official that prescribe use of these drugs should be encouraged to provide follow-ups on patients to minimize abuse. In essence, the article supports these arguments adequately although other stakeholders like parents and health officials are not mentioned.
The article makes some assumptions when dealing with adolescents. For instance, peer pressure, which is most common in this age group, is rarely mentioned. Furthermore, the teachers and parents as well as other mentors such as health officials and the elderly are ignored. These important personalities can contribute heavily in restructuring behavior of adolescents.
The article is thus biased towards research and findings instead of other practicalities like influence from friends and mentors, among others. The authors argue that research needs to be done urgently to help reduce abuse of prescription drugs. Moreover, they use statistics on prevalence and cause of drug abuse to support the urgent need for research. Its data is sourced form credible organizations such as APA, among others to support their arguments.
The authors also use graphs and figures to elaborate on strengths of their arguments. They conclude with a restatement of their facts and arguments with a clear understanding of objectives. The author’s arguments are mainly based on scientific research and findings as well as moral responsibility to minimize drug abuse among adolescents (Compton & Volkow, 2006, p. 103–107).
Quality of content
The article is well researched with arguments that depict the credible sources utilized. The article is scholarly and authoritative given its backups that are derived from authoritative sources. Moreover, its quality is indisputable given the extent of research and work allocated to it.
The authors are also well conversed with the topic of study since they boast of valuable experience in this field. Based on the research conducted, it is essential to note that this paper is fair and accurate. However, it is also important to note that other stakeholders like mentors, parents, and teachers are ignored in these arguments even though they have big influence on adolescents.
Issues in the article are clear and concise although others may have been left out given that the mentioned stakeholders are ignored. The paper also exemplifies on the possible causes of increasing abuse of drugs among adolescents with recommendations on ways of minimizing such occurrences. However, the paper emphasizes so much on opioid that other drugs like marijuana and heroin are scantily mentioned.
Connection with relevant readings in the course
This paper is quite relevant to the course given that it talks about drug abuse and its effect in society. Furthermore, it becomes more relevant since it emphasizes on adolescents who are notorious for drug abuse. The paper also mentions points that are relevant to the course readings concerning abuse of marijuana, opioid analgesics, and heroin.
It rates marijuana as the most commonly abused drug among adolescents and this concurs with the other course materials. Moreover, abuse of opioid is placed second, which concurs with other resources. Finally, the sources utilized in its research are among those utilized in the other course materials.
The article is important in contributing to my understanding of the prevalence of opioid analgesics among adolescents. Moreover, it adds to my knowledge on the causes of rise in addiction among the youth. The paper is therefore well connected with my course. It improves my knowledge of the possible mechanisms needed to avert the rising number of adolescents abusing prescription drugs, among others. The article is engaging and appealing to readers. It calls for further research on ways of minimizing drug abuse in adolescents.
Compton, W. & Volkow, N. (2006). Major increases in opioid analgesic abuse in the United States: Concerns and strategies. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 81,103–107. Retrieved from https://www.uvm.edu/