Essay: American Carnage

Essay details:

  • Subject area(s): English literature essays
  • Reading time: 17 minutes
  • Price: Free download
  • Published on: August 6, 2018
  • File format: Text
  • Number of pages: 2
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After reading ¨American Carnage¨, I was amazed to learn how much of a business drug dealing really is. Drug dealers and drug addicts are given a multitude of opportunities to make money, and often, they do. They attain drugs from pharmacies and other people, and are able to then sell those drugs to other people in order to turn a profit. They have their own economy and complex trading system, and it interests me how, just like the normal economy, the prices of certain drugs sold on the street rise over time. However, even though it is extremely interesting that this happens, it is a complex system that would benefit people more if it did not exist. It is important to remember how dangerous drugs are, and how reckless people can be with those drugs once they attain them. This is a problem that has occured throughout history, and a plethora of laws, rules, and bans have been made concerning drugs like opioids, fentanyl, heroin, and morphine. However, the article pointed out that this problem, which has occurred throughout history, was partly due to the government giving more power to companies and allowing them to govern themselves. This struck me as interesting because the government, especially when dealing with drugs, is looked at as the good guy, and the drug addicts and dealers using them are looked at as the bad guys. However, now that I know the facts, I can clearly see that that isn’t the case at all. Many of the people addicted to drugs got hooked through companies introducing new drugs into the world that they said were safe, when they really weren’t. This is a big reason that this problem has become so bad, and it is so bad that it is being classified as a national epidemic. It is ravaging throughout America, and more deaths have come from drugs like these than ever before. The government has taken many steps to try and moderate this issue, but I believe there are further steps that can be taken in order to do so. I believe that young generations, like ourselves, should always be reminded and taught about the effects that drugs can have on people when used for the wrong things. They should know the potential side effects, consequences, and bad things that can come from the drugs that are apparent in todayś ravaging drug epidemic.


I found “American Carnage” to be extremely informative on the opioid epidemic, as well as very well-written. The journalist gave examples that intensified the opioid epidemic, and showed America the bad path it is currently pursuing.

The first of the examples the journalist provided is a rehab center in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. One of the frequent members there, Jonathan Goyer, got hooked on heroin to the point where had OD’d several times. He claims that everyone that has been hooked on drugs as he was should probably be dead, and he is probably correct. Goyes comes from a family that has been plagued by the opioid epidemic, his father died of an overdose in 2004 and his brother OD’d and died in 2009. This taught me how opioids could ruin a whole family.

Another example the journalist gave that I found informative were some statistics showing how horribly opioids have affected America. According to the journalist, fifty two thousand Americans died of overdoses in 2015, which is nearly half the amount of people that died by getting in a car accident that year. This taught me how frequently opioid-caused deaths have been occuring. Before reading this article, I thought that opioids could rarely kill people without fentanyl, but these statistics suggest otherwise.

These examples are two among the many the journalist provided to show how horribly opioids are affecting our country. I hope this article is read by many other people because it could provide others with knowledge on the overall horrific affect the opioid epidemic has had on America as it did to me.


After reading “American Carnage” by Christopher Caldwell, I found that there was a lot I did not know about the opioid and fentanyl epidemic in America. There’s an experience both the dealer and the addict have that plays a big part in the crisis. But what particularly surprised me was how little people have done to try to help addicts and the problem itself.

Especially in the United States, hundreds of addicts overdose everyday and those with the power to help them and others do nearly nothing. Like Caldwell says, “After five decades of alarm over threats that were small by comparison, politicians and the media have offered only a muted response” (Caldwell 2). Most people don’t understand what these addicts go through and what has caused them to turn to drugs, and those that do don’t have the ability to help them.

I learned that it is very hard to prevent people from having access to opioids and fentanyl and that in the past most people have just cut of their access to it. However, that cannot be a long-term solution. The real struggle is how to tell who needs medicine, and who is an addict. In the end, doctors and pharmacists are really just guessing who actually needs it.

Overall I think this article taught me how not only the users and the dealers, but also the rest of society play an important role in this crisis. Currently, politicians and powerful figures in society are the ones who can help, and it depends if the can and will.


After reading “American Carnage by Christopher Caldwell, I found that there was a lot of information given with real life evidence. The article showed the relationship between the dealer and the addict, and what the addict was willing to go through to get the drugs. I was surprised that even after the amount of overdoses that happened in the United States of America, the government has done to solve the problem. I realize that you can’t just take someone of their drugs just like that as they could they because of the withdrawal symptoms which could lead to death. The article also put in stories when addicts got cured, showing if an addict ws reading this article he could also be cured.

Jonathan Goyer’s father and brother died of an overdose and he almost did too, but he was cured. Now he goes to visit people after they overdosed and tells them “I was right where you’re at.” This story really shows that addicts can be cured.

Overall I really wonder why people who have power in the world, don’t try to invest in stopping the drug abusers and overdoses. This has been a problem for many years now, from the vietnamese war to present day.


After reading “American Carnage,” I am surprised on the amount of information that the author displayed in his essay. I learned a lot about the relations between the addict, the dealer, the public, and the government. With the addicts, I had already known about the extreme addictions that comes from using opioids, but I never stopped to really think about what they would do to get more drugs or would what happen if they tried to stop. The addicts listed in this essay really give a good, clear image on the power of the drugs. With people who can identify highs, people who steal and commit crimes to continue his or her addiction. These people do not care for the dangerous effects of the strength, if they see a story of an overdose death, they will think about how to get that kind of high, and not the high risk of death that will come. I also learned about how companies and the government itself were partly responsible for the epidemic, as Reaganism allowed companies to operate with more self-governance, allowing to be more free-willed. This worked, but allowed medical companies, like Purdue, to start producing opioids, like Oxytocin, with marketing efforts that labeled it as saf
e. This unfortunately attracted many addicts to use it for highs, and also made a new generation for addicts. So in turn, it was actually the people now trying to stop the epidemic that started it in the first place.


After reading “American Carnage”by Christopher Caldwell I was shocked and amazed to see what recovering addicts and even addicts in general went through. My way of going about all of this is think of yourself as a kid in a candy store and apparently this is the same way with them. It is more of their “safe” thing to do in dealing with stress and pain; it relieves everything for them. I was however shocked to see what serious side effects and how much mental and physical trauma these drugs can do to us. Now that I know that kids my age use such items you really can not trust anyone.

What I really found interesting about all of this was the drugs in general throughout

reading the article it has shown to be very detailed and have good explanations on the drugs they are talking about. With this is shows about the drug, who uses it, and how it affects us. Reading about this it has proven to really make me aware about everyday life and to not really judge people as hard. Retiring drug addicts are honestly memorable for their effort to fight it in meaning that they really want to get better but it is hard. Stopping such a serious “disease” is hard and to fight it requires a lot of passion.

Honestly in the whole run up of things you should not really use drugs as a final resort because in the end there will always be something else to be there for you. You should be thankful that you were even put in this world. To sum up this peace I think it was a very well written and educated essay about drugs and it has taught me a lot.


After reading “American Carnage” I learned a lot about opioids that I did not know before. I learned that so many people died of overdoses through the years. I learned that politicians and media were not addressing this and Trump got a lot of credit for mentioning it. In the 19th century scientists isolated morphine, the active ingredient in opium, and in the 1850s the hypodermic needle was invented. Opioids helped soldiers with the pain but were highly addictive. Doctors also prescribed opiates to women for menstrual cramps and hysteria. The “acetalization” of the morphine led to the creation of heroin. It took almost 100 years before drug companies could talk them back into using drugs like. Heroin is very bad and highly addictive. If people overdose they’re breathing slows down until they die. If people who are addicted do not get drugs for a certain amount of time they go through withdrawal. If these people do not receive medical treatment the symptoms are very painful and embarrassing. People believe that the best way for society to avoid the dangers of addictive drugs is to restrict access to them. Even though people want to restrict access to these drugs it is still very easy to get ahold of them. After being addicted for a long time and buying drugs every time these people had needs for it a lot of money is spent. So much money is spent that people will scavenge for money in the strangest places. They will also do the strangest things. People are trying to limit the amount of drugs and are trying to restrict then. This epidemic is so serious and needs to be dealt with more than it is now. I learned so much from this article. I learned about how many people were addicted and how many OD’d. I learned how these drugs affected people and how hard it was to be clean. I learned that many people are trying to restrict the amount of drugs that are accessible and they are doing what they can to help the people who are already addicted and want to become clean.

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