A growing problem facing America today is the rise in drug overdoses. In 2017, over 72,000 Americans died due to drug overdose (National Institute on Drug Abuse). Due to heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, opioids, etc., thousands are losing their lives every year. Though the Justice Department is cracking down on drug dealers, some cities and states across the nation are looking to provide a safe haven for drug addicts, where they can shoot up without fear of being arrested. According to Deputy Attorney General of the United States Rod J. Rosenstein’s New York Times op-ed, Fight Drug Abuse, Don’t Subsidize It, cities such as New York, San Francisco, and Seattle, and states such as Colorado, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine are all either considering, or moving forward with, the idea of providing centers where these drug addicts can get high, and abuse harmful drugs, without any legal recourse. This is an all-around awful idea. Why should these states condone and support the use of illegal drugs? These injection sites will push cities further into becoming drug and crime riddled neighborhoods, while offering those who do not use these illegal drugs a safe place to experiment with them. Injection sites will also offer spots for teenagers to use and abuse these harmful drugs, where they may not have had these centers not been opened. As a nation, we should be more worried about stopping drug addiction, not facilitating it.
The city of San Francisco has an estimated homelessness population of just under 7,500 (Norman). The city is already filled with homeless people, and adding injection sites for drug abusers might make this problem even worse. Hardcore drugs will bring drug dealers bringing with them violence and despair, posting a danger to neighbors and law-abiding visitors, (Rosenstein). Allowing these injection sites would bring many more drug dealers to the cities condoning it, which will substantially hurt the city in the long-run. Poverty will rise, as more and more flock to these areas, knowing they can safely fuel their addiction. Along with poverty, the crime rate will also rise, as new drug turfs are established, as drug dealers attempt to sell harmful drugs to people who know they can legally abuse them. The death rate may stay consistent, due to staffers at the injection sites being able to help those who overdose, but those who are addicted to heroin, opioids, methamphetamines, etc., will rise significantly. Cities such as New York, San Francisco, and Seattle, who all have homelessness problems, need to stop and think if this is the right direction to take when dealing with drug addiction. Should these cities use taxpayer dollars to establish drug zones, or should they use that money to invest in rehabilitation clinics, that can help addicts get off drugs? It sounds like an easy decision to make, yet these cities, along with Colorado, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine, are all contemplating the idea of the literal drug zones.
Along with turning cities into areas of higher poverty and crime than there are presently, the drug injection sites could allow a whole new wave of people to become hooked on harmful drugs. When something is offered for people, they might take the chance to use/abuse this opportunity. Maybe a man is down on his luck; he has just gotten divorced, and lost his job. If he lives in a city or state that is offering these drug-use facilities, he might go and use an illegal drug to blow off some steam, and might become addicted. These injection facilities will open the floodgates to a whole new population of drug abusers who would not have been there before. Cities and states will be taking the risk of creating more drug addicts, which, in the long term, be more harmful than beneficial to the cities and states themselves. They will have to deal with the consequences of adding drug addicts, which will bring on homelessness, poverty, crime, and eventually/hopefully rehabilitation.
Along with the general population having access to illegal drugs, it will also open the floodgates to teenagers being able to abuse drugs. Teenagers are rebellious by nature, and allowing them to do an illegal activity without consequence is like the Purge movies brought to life. Teenagers across the country are already experimenting with deadly drugs, and allowing them a safe haven to do them is like the high school parents who allow their kids to drink and smoke at the house to a whole new level. Not only do they risk the chance of becoming addicted to drugs, but it will also set in place bad morals and ethics for the rest of their lives. They will now think that they can get away with anything if they know that they will not be punished, which can lead to bad morality over legality. All in all, the most important thing is that we should not be allowing this nation’s youth to be doing harmful drugs that can ail their future in the first place. We should not condone anyone’s substance and drug abuse.
Hard-core drugs are known to be harmful to people and the communities around them, as we see drug riddled communities throughout the United States. Allowing cities to become hubs for the illegal use of drug to be done legally is asinine, as they will hurt the cities and states themselves, bring in a new wave of drug addicts, and open the floodgates for teens to experiment with these harmful drugs. No injection sites should be considered, let alone opened, if we want to stop the drug addiction and overdose problem in this country, as this will just make matters worse.