Drugs in New Jersey State: More than to cure addicts.
The heroin epidemic is plaguing (Barna, 2014)New Jersey. For more than 10 years, the drug problem in the State of New Jersey is growing exponentially; the problem is unstoppable turning to be the number one health care crisis in the State (Barna, 2014). The increasing drug problematic is not only affecting the urban areas but also unlikely suburban (National Institute on Drugs Abuse, 2012) places; is impacting our economy and our health, everyone regardless of age, gender or economic level is suffering some kind of damage related to drugs. Studies have shown how drugs affect young people, societies, families’ structure, economies, kids, and the future of an entire country; statistics from 2012 demonstrate the increase use of drug among teenagers over 12 years. Is undeniable, if we keep the path the future of our society will be in risk.
Meet the cases of Steven Lunardi (right) and Stephanie Chiakas (left)
The heroin treatment in the State of New Jersey has increased more than 50% since 2006 (Peskoe & Stirling, 2014). The communities, in which the problem has the largest number of reported heroin treatment, included: Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Camden and Atlantic City; in the first five places (Davis, 2014).
What have been done to combat heroin abuse in New Jersey?
At the end of December 2014, NJ’s senate approved bills aimed at fighting heroin and prescription drug abuse, and I strongly believe that this is not a solution to combat the increasing of drugs consumption.The petitions, conceived and presented by the senate in order to to combat this overwhelming issue, include:
- Education: Prevention options that educate our residents (Hayes, 2014) of the dangers of both prescription drug and heroin abuse
- Require state colleges and universities to provide (Hayes, 2014) substance abuse housing and recovery options, and force the state Department of Education to reevaluate its drug prevention curriculum.
- Amend the Overdose and Prevention Act to provide immunity to law enforcement professionals (Hayes, 2014) who administer overdose antidotes and require needle exchange programs to dispense the antidote to participants.
- Require to the state Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services to prepare an annual report (Hayes, 2014)detailing the performance of treatment providers.
What have been done is enough in fighting drugs use?
Analyzig the problem deeply, the efforts against drugs in current days are orientated in the victims rather than confronting the base of this reality; furthermore, this is how our Senate wants to keep fighting the problem.
From a reasonable and logic point of view this strategy will not be ever a solution; fight it by trying to heal the addicts does not touch the root of the problem. Moreover, prove of this is that recently findings have shown (Peskoe & Stirling, 2014)that while number of treatment facilities has increased in New Jersey in recent years, the options available remain inadequate; also, studies demonstrate that the measures and strategies taken are not been followed (Texoma’s homepage.com , 2013) in most of the states.
Now our Senate approved (Hayes, 2014) bills that represented actions centered on rehab the addicts, and only on this; more of the same that will not be enough as has been proven before.
The drugs problem has gone so far because of the lack of the right strategies and the real commitment of our government. Fighting drugs (Gray, 2014) must include stronger commitments; the persecution and arrest (Pannell, 2014)of smuggling and drug dealing, home education (values) and fight against the drugs cartels (Barna, 2014); these initiatives must be a priority. The availability of drugs is undeniable, statists (Pilcher & Bernard-Kuhn, 2014) show how easy is to obtain heroin in any states, principally New York and New Jersey which ranks third in nine.
Possible actions to fight and control the consumption of drugs
Unquestionble, taking measures that attack the consequences of the problem is not an answer; this issue must be seen beyond this type of solution. Is required interlocking national, regional and international strategies rooted in global cooperation (United Nations General Assembly, 2009).
In the same line, as National Coalition for Effective Drug Policies in Washington express; to combat drugs use the actions taken must include a complete program, covering what they called Eight Steps to Effectively Controlling Drug Abuse and the Drug Market (2015).
- Focus the law enforcement resources on the most dangerous and violent criminals (National Coalition for Effective Drug Policies, 2015).
- Prevent the drug abuse by investing in American youth and providing them with accurate information. (National Coalition for Effective Drug Policies, 2015)
- International drug’s control efforts should be demilitarized and focus on economic development (National Coalition for Effective Drug Policies, 2015).
- Restore justice to the US justice system (National Coalition for Effective Drug Policies, 2015).
- Respect State’s rights and allow new approaches be tried (National Coalition for Effective Drug Policies, 2015).
- Treatment availability, make them available on request like any other health service (National Coalition for Effective Drug Policies, 2015).
- Shift resources to programs that work (National Coalition for Effective Drug Policies, 2015).
- Make the prevention of HIV and other blood-borne diseases a top priority (National Coalition for Effective Drug Policies, 2015).
Facing and handling the drug problem like our Senate does, is not enough; this initiative looks like a political measure rather than a firm determination in ending this problem. We all must take actions against drugs and be an activist in order to have a bright future for everyone.
Doing drugs destroy people? You do not know yet? Check this out:
Video: The Truth and Facts of Marijuana
I am addicted, who can help me?
The Drugs abuse in New Jersey, heroin, policies, new actions and similar concepts are all over the social media. This is a topic with a wide interest in the population.
The following is part of a conversation about heroin in NJ, in which I am agree according with the recent readings about the topic
There are multiple sites in social media which focus in the prevention, recovery and education about drugs and alcohol; those sites engage people, on where readers may engage in discussion on the subject. A few examples are:
Drugs and Recovery It is an online fellowship for all the Suffering and Recovering Addicts; is dedicated to all the people who have been involved in a drug and wants to come out of active addiction.
Coalition Against Drug Abuse Is a help site; this group features extensive information about drug addiction & alcoholism, and offers a number of resources to aid in recovery.
National Institute of Drugs Abuse NIDA’s mission is to lead the Nation in bringing the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction.
Steps to Recovery: Is a center focused in helping people with drugs and alcohol abuse.
Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) is an international substance abuse prevention education program that seeks to prevent use of drugs, membership in gangs, and violent behavior. It was founded in Los Angeles in 1983 as a joint initiative of ex-LAPD chief Daryl Gates and the Los Angeles Unified School District as a demand-side drug control strategy of the American War on Drugs.
Barna, M. (2014, April). VICE NEWS. Retrieved January 2015, from VICE NEWS: https://news.vice.com/article/a-heroin-epidemic-is-plaguing-new-jersey
Davis, T. (2014, October). Toms River Patch. Retrieved January 2015, from Toms River Patch: http://patch.com/new-jersey/tomsriver/25-towns-new-jersey-heroin-abuse-toms-river-seventh
Gray, E. (2014, Februry ). TIME. Retrieved January 2015, from TIME: http://time.com/4505/heroin-gains-popularity-as-cheap-doses-flood-the-u-s/
Hayes, M. (2014, December). NorthJersey.com. Retrieved January 2015, from NorthJersey.com: http://www.northjersey.com/news/n-j-senate-oks-bills-aimed-at-fighting-fighting-heroin-prescription-drug-abuse-1.1166474
National Coalition for Effective Drug Policies. (2015, January). Common Sense for Drug Policy. Retrieved January 2015, from http://www.csdp.org/news/news/8steps.htm
National Institute on Drugs Abuse. (2012). National Institute on Drugs Abuse. Retrieved January 2015, from National Institute on Drugs Abuse: http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/heroin/scope-heroin-use-in-united-states
Pannell, I. (2014, March). BBC . Retrieved January 2015, from BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-26672422
Peskoe, A., & Stirling, S. (2014, September). NJ.com. Retrieved January 2015, from NJ.com: http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/09/state_legislators_to_announce_sprawling_bill_package_to_combat_heroin_opiate_crisis.html
Pilcher, J., & Bernard-Kuhn, L. (2014). USA Today . Retrieved January 2015, from USA Today : http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/06/12/communities-across-usa-scramble-to-tackle-heroin-surge/9713463/
Texoma’s homepage.com . (2013). Retrieved January 2015, from Texoma’s homepage.com : http://www.texomashomepage.com/story/d/story/drug-abuse-state-rankings/24886/KuKn4vKB806Nc_fiCrPSHQ
United Nations General Assembly. (2009). United Nations. Retrieved 2015, from http://www.un.org/press/en/2009/gashc3948.doc.htm
1. Explain what responsibilities you owe your readers as a producer of original content.
As writer, we have the power to influence people, and we could affect whole society with what we choose to write. A writer’s responsibility goes beyond a point of view; it must be a content full of accuracy, impartiality (Gordimer, 1984), truthfulness and objectivity; a writer has the duty to be good, true, lively, accurate, its role is to inform and shape life (Popova, 2012).
Producing an original content is part of all of this, the credibility of a writer relies in the quality of its authentic productions, its reliability, and its accountability.
A writer should be selective, and discerning when assembling information into a cohesive written product (Southern New Hampshire University, 2013) in order to be responsible; this ensure sensitivity to the effect that a story’s publication will have in people and whole the society (Southern New Hampshire University, 2013). In this aspect, sensitivity means a methodical way to gather information from a variety of sources, in order to be as accurate as possible and give the credit when appropriate (Southern New Hampshire University, 2013).
The concept of original content is part of an ethical behavior, in fact is a part of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Codes of Ethics and is presented as “never plagiarize” (Society of Professional Journalist, 2014). Using other people’s works is not wrong only when you are committed to give the proper credit to the original sources; by giving names, by linking to the original source or by identifying source of information clearly in notes (Buttry, 2010)
2. Explain how you incorporated ethical writing principles in the creation of your article.
To assure the aligning of my webpage’s content to ethical principles I took the time and made the effort in developing the content; including the following:
- Testing the accuracy of information from all the sources and tried to avoid errors in the information’s analysis.
- By seeking the truth and reporting it.
- By minimizing harm with the content presented.
- By acting independently
- By being accountable and transparent.
- By staying attach to the facts and realities about the content.
- By identifying as much as possible source’s available.
- By avoiding sensationalism in any way.
- By sidestepping content distortion.
- By no plagiarizing.
- By avoiding undercover methods of gathering information.
- By avoiding stereotyping people.
- Trying persons with respect and showing compassion for those that are affected by the content.
- Attempting to avoid harming people.
- By being free of obligation to any particular interest rather that inform audiences about this overwhelming problem.
- By being accountable: providing people the chance to give their opinion and perceptions about the content.
Although I am not a professional journalist, I decided to stay attached and under the umbrella of the Society of Professional Journalist Code of Ethics.
3. Discuss how you verified the sources of information you used in your article.
The sources I have used belong to New Jersey’s community media and nationwide media. Before choosing them, I follow the Critical Evaluation of Information Source by the University of Oregon, one of our readings in this class, to validate the aspects I should consider. Those were author authority, objectivity, quality of the content, accuracy and relevance (Oregon, 2014).
The main elements taking into account and applied in this analysis were:
- Questioning and Investigating about the author, its trajectory, its working experiences, its reliability and its reputation.
- I took into account the media that exposed the information; its credibility and trajectory.
- The quality, currency, and relevance of the topic were also analyzed.
4. Since you are not a professional journalist, explain what steps you took to demonstrate your reliability to readers.
In order to be considered as reliable and create a high-quality content for my audience, several aspects were essential elements in this webpage’s development which help me in structuring the process. To be organized I divided in two parts;; the first one related to the content and the second related to the features and the appealing of the web page.
Mainly the factors that guided me in how to proceed and the steps that I should take; this instructive’s guide includes:
- In terms of content the followed steps and essential elements used were:
- Revise the code of conduct although I am not a professional journalist.
- Validate the sources of my investigation; their credibility, their path, and their reputation.
- Analyze the media that exposed the original information.
- Evaluate the purpose of this article was also considerate in order to choose the best way to present the information; the way the info was offered and the multimedia tools used were well thought in order to increase the impact of the content.
- I applied the basic and media concepts of media literacy; taking into consideration the text and sub-text utilization.
- Persuasion’s techniques were also included; basic and intermediate.
- In terms of the features and the appealing of the web page:
- The best practices to write a web page were deeply analyzed.
- Writing in pyramid style.
- Being aware of including who, what, where, when, why and how (Moskowitz, 2011).
- Consciously include the keywords with the purpose of being found.
- Providing context from the beginning was one of the objectives.
- The use of metadata was included.
- The inclusion of heading was part of the objectives; I focused in questions, phrases, and sentences.
- The use of bullets or numbered list was included.
- The multimedia elements were used considering the main purposes. The objective were:
- Increase the impact of the content.
- This is why the pictures are the primary multimedia’s tool used
- This is why the video is left to a final position.
- Ensuring the audience return to the website.
- Concentrating in the message and its influence on the audience.
- The overuse of multimedia tools was avoided.
- Present the article in an organized and appealing way.
- Work the web page in order to be classified as reliable and high quality.
- Interactivity was a part of the features I wanted to be part of the web page; that is why medium interactivity tools were included.
- Increase the impact of the content.
- The best practices to write a web page were deeply analyzed.
We took into consideration the “Multimedia Effects on Processing and Perception of Online News: study of picture, audio, and video downloads; by S. Shyam Sundar.
5. State how your chosen evidence (resources) might lend credibility to your article.
In this particular case, I looked for formal studies and investigations made by well-known organizations as the Special Task Force on Heroin and Opiate; the data was statistical and shows the evolution of the problem.
In the other hand, the medias which covered the topic was selected basing on its substantiated text; the statistics were from sources like the Division of Addiction Services in the New Jersey Department of Human Services and from a National Institute specialized in this topic.
Furthermore, I investigated the journalists; my findings on them were that they have formal education, the majority are well known and respected in their communities; they have credibility in their jobs and enjoys an excellent reputation.
Finally, the majority of the mass media which covers the news were truthful and respectful.
The aspects above are high enough to provide confidence and credibility to the content, and also should provide tranquility to readers.
Buttry, S. (2010, November). The Buttry Diary . Retrieved January 2015, from https://stevebuttry.wordpress.com/2010/11/07/journalists-code-of-ethics-time-for-an-update/
Gordimer, N. (1984, October). THE TANNER LECTURES. Retrieved January 2015, from THE TANNER LECTURES: http://tannerlectures.utah.edu/_documents/a-to-z/g/gordimer85.pdf
Moskowitz, G. (2011, July). PBS. Retrieved January 2015, from http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2011/07/how-important-are-writing-skills-for-modern-journalists187/
Oregon, U. o. (2014, December). University of Oregon. Retrieved January 2015, from University of Oregon: http://library.uoregon.edu/guides/findarticles/credibility.html
Popova, M. (2012, April). The Atlantic. Retrieved January 2015, from http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/04/eb-white-on-the-responsibility-and-role-of-the-writer/256005/
Society of Professional Journalist. (2014, September). Society of Professional Journalist. Retrieved January 2015, from http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp
Southern New Hampshire University. (2013). Southern New Hampshire University. Retrieved January 2015, from https://bb.snhu.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-4783065-dt-content-rid-10108906_1/courses/COM-510-15TW2-MASTER/COM-510-14TW2-MASTER_ImportedContent_20131105030838/com_510_module5_overview.pdf