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Media's importance in drawing attention on critical issues, such as the perils of heroin use

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Mass media is a very great way of getting the latest information out to the public quickly. One of the rising issues we tend to hear about a lot is heroin and the victims of heroin use. Heroin seems to be sweeping across the nation and because it has become so affordable it has become an epidemic throughout many cities and suburbs. I decided to choose the New York Times as one of my sources because New York has such a large population that I do not know too much about.

The article titled, Heroin Epidemic Increasingly Seeps Into Public View by Kathrine Q. Seelye in the New York Times is a well written piece that really goes in depth of what is going on with this drug around us. Seeyle presents the heroin crisis to us by jumping right in and giving the readers examples of drug abuse. She immediately starts off by telling us that in Philadelphia, Pa a man on a bus injected heroin into his hand during rush hour in front of everyone who was on this bus. She continues to give two more examples: one in Cincinnati and the other here in Cambridge.

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Seeyle then discusses how heroin is widely used and is very cheap making it more available to people on the streets. In connection with the reading this article has similarities because we learn about how heroin has become easily accessible. I’ve always heard about heroin addicts and how they stole from their loved ones and snuck around to get their fix and shoot up. After reading this article I learned that heroin has become such a popular drug for addicts that they are shooting up any chance they get no matter where they are.

As of 2016 “Nationally, 126 people die a day from drug overdoses, 78 of them from heroin and painkillers, and many more are revived, brought back from the brink of death – often in full public view.” The fact that Seeyle starts her article off with real stories, then factual information and even decides to add in real statistical numbers gives the readers an better idea of how big of an issue these drugs are and how harmful they can be. The book is similar in the sense that it describes the lethality of heroin and when reading the article it helps to apply the knowledge we already know about the drug. She also goes in depth about Narcan which is a drug that basically reverses a heroin overdose. Along with this information we learn that it has gotten to the point that users will use carelessly because they know Narcan is readily available once medical responders arrive.

Seeyle then decides to add more examples of public overdoses and even gets police opinions. Chief of police, Edward J. Walsh too agrees that the “psychological need for an addict is so great that they will use it at the earliest opportunity”. One of the topics we discussed in class was medical supervision for the addicts who need to get their fix, and Seeyle touches upon this in her article as well. These facilities are located outside of the country in Canada and Europe, and the state of New York has actually suggested opening one and that it would be beneficial to some extent where I agree with the idea. The book sets the foundation for this article. The book although doesn’t have many specific cases, allows us to learn about the drug and its dangerous effects on the human body. In turn the information we learn from the book allows us to better understand this newspaper article.


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