Hospitals, doctors, nurses and nursing assistants across the US, but particularly in the Northeast have been grappling with a surging epidemic of heroin overdoses in recent months. Health officials report that heroin overdose deaths in the United States nearly quadrupled between 2002 and 2013, driven by heroin’s more affordable cost than prescription opiate painkillers.According to a Reuters report, “the White House on Monday will announce a plan pairing law enforcement officials with public health workers in an effort to emphasize treatment rather than prosecution of addicts, the Washington Post said.” The ramifications of this new policy, focusing on treatment, will certainly be felt by those currently studying a nursing assistant program when they graduate and make their way into the healthcare workforce.The White House’s shift in policy from a punitive to a care-driven posture comports with the care-giving ethos inherent in all medical industry jobs. People, like those taking certified nursing assistant programs, who enter into this field to provide comfort and care to the afflicted, should applaud this new, more human approach to a nasty and intractable social problem. Studying to become one such care giver with the Allen School prepares a man or woman to fight the good fight against this deadly scourge.
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