The article “Public opinion and public policy: Heroin and other opioids” by Cook and Brownstein (2017) examines the extent to which public opinion is expressed in drug policy. Namely, the authors target Virginia as the state where the situation is critical. Recently, opioids containing painkillers dispensed in the pharmaceutical sphere by prescription were considered a universal and safe panacea for people suffering from chronic pain caused by various serious illnesses such as cancer. However, the safety of this drug proved to be not so safe since many Americans have to face opiate addiction caused by easy access to drugs that cause physical dependence. In addition to dependence, tablets with pain medication can also cause their consumers to have different side effects that negatively impact their physical and mental health, not to mention the fact that they can lead to a fatal overdose. The main question is whether public opinion supports treatment over arrest or not. The authors conclude that Virginians agree with the mentioned initiative and that public support may affect policymaking.
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The quality of evidence provided in this article is appropriate. The authors use correct references to the sources used throughout the work. It should be stressed that the majority of sources is recent, while all of them are relevant to the identified topic. Therefore, a reader may proceed with exploring the theme of public opinion and opioid abuse by accessing the mentioned sources. The content of the article is well-organized and corresponds to the key issue. For example, Cook and Brownstein (2017) clearly outline the sample, measures, and methodology they use. After that, they provide findings and discussion sections accompanied by policy implications. The writing style is clear and elaborate. The authors apply such words and phrases that are easy to understand, so that both average readers and experts feel comfortable while reading it. As for the authors’ potential bias, it is possible to state that they do not stick to one or another opinion, listing objective facts and explanations. The article meets the standards regarding scholarly writing as it is written in an academic manner, includes relevant sources and a proper structure, presents the reference list designed according to APA, and contributes to the current evidence in the given field.
There are two potential ways of this article perception. It seems that policymakers and Virginians as well as Americans from other states compose the target audience. The first group of people may perceive it as an attempt to collect their opinions and document them to improve the existing policy regarding drug abusers. At the same time, the article intends to show people how the problem of heroin and other opioids may be resolved taking into account the attitudes of public. This reflects the fact that the scholars care about public opinion and implement it in research with the aim of improving the existing conditions. From the point of policymakers, the article may be used as guidance to be developed and advanced to eliminate this problem.
To make this article more relevant for an international audience, it seems important to involve some statistics and policies of other countries that also face the same problem. Such a continuation of the research is likely to reveal some new ideas on how to consider public opinion in policymaking and treat people abusing heroin and other opioids. The above suggestion is significant as it would allow comparing global data on the given topic and come up with the best solution.
Cook, A. K., & Brownstein, H. H. (2017). Public opinion and public policy: Heroin and other opioids. Criminal Justice Policy Review, 1(1), 1-23. Web.