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Lecture 1

HSAD 335 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Opioid Epidemic, Nimby, Naloxone

Health Services Administration
Course Code
HSAD 335
stephen gambesica

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Problems are part of our everyday life. Our problems can vary depending on where we live and
how we live, but when our everyday problem becomes the call of death, we can no longer avoid
it. Today we are facing a crisis that we can no longer avoid. With more than 64,000 deaths from
opioid and other drug overdoses, it no longer remains a personal issue rather it has become a
national crisis.
An overdose is often a lonely way to die. The drug overwhelms the body’s basic
functions, eventually stopping the brain’s drive to breathe. For most of us this is not the ideal
way to die but what if there was a way to save these lives? What if we could decrease the risk of
being overdosed? Overdose from a drug can be reversed with drugs like naloxone, which saves
thousands of lives a year, however someone must be there to notice the sign of an overdose. This
solution can be implemented through the use of safe injection site, however, cities like
Philadelphia is struggling to implement these sites.
Many people today acknowledge the safe injection site as a possible solution but only
few have tried to step their foot into it. The chief of staff of the Philadelphia public health
department stated this as one of her biggest challenge. She states that many people support the
safe injection site as possible solution, but nobody is willing to put it near them. They explain
their objection through the natural psychological phenomenon "Not in My Backyard" (NIMBY).
People hold the believe that these sites will promote drug use and increase crime in their
neighborhood. One of the People who is opposed to the safe injection site have stated at a public
hearing in Philadelphia that "You're not thinking about me and what I experienced growing up
and you're not thinking about my children who will be exposed to this as long as we live."
However, Research instead suggests that these sites lead to increases in public order, with fewer
discarded needles on the street and less drug use on the sidewalk and have no impact on drug-
related crimes. All evidence so far shows these facilities have proved extremely effective in
decreasing overdose deaths in country that has implemented the safe injection site. If lawmakers
are serious about ending the opioid crisis, American cities and states should follow their lead.
The trump administration wants to solve the issue of drug addiction under federal law.
President trump want to focus on law enforcement rather harm reduction because he likes the old
approach of being “really really tough” on those who doesn’t follow the law. Also, in response
to proposed facility in Vermont, the attorney general’s office has states that “It is a crime, not
only to use illicit narcotics, but to manage and maintain sites on which such drugs are used and
distributed.” but if states and cities can legalized medical and recreational marijuana without the
involvement of federal entities, they could also pass laws authorizing these sites without any
involvement of the federal law enforcement. Despite these oppositions, cities like Philadelphia,
Seattle, and San Francisco are working hard to implement these site and may be successful in
doing it within a year. More cities and states should follow their lead and the trump
administration should help solve this problem by staying out of the way.
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