Public health money should continue to fund Narcan and needle exchange programs

Public health money should continue to fund Narcan and needle exchange programs


Evidence-based practice is extremely important in nursing. Throughout your master’s program, you will complete research on various topics. Knowing how to construct a strong problem statement and complete a critical analysis of the available information to write a literature review is essential.

This week, you will write a problem statement and perform a literature review in preparation for your ethical issues debate presentation. Share your problem statement in this discussion so that you can review each other’s work and provide peer-to-peer feedback. Also, describe what you think are the most important learning takeaways from the literature review resources you reviewed.

Follow the instructions in the bullets below to direct you where to find resources on problem statements and literature reviews:Then view:
Writing a Problem Statement
What is a Literature Review
Conducting a Literature Review

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Problem Statement

One of the most significant public health challenges in the US currently is the opioid epidemic. The opioid epidemic has therefore resulted from an increase in the misuse of opioid prescription pain relievers, fentanyl, and heroin. The rising cases of opioid abuse across the US have therefore contributed significantly to an increase in injection drug use. As more people have begun utilizing injection as a method of abusing drugs, the prevalence of various infectious diseases has increased, including hepatitis and HIV (NIDA, 2021). The increasing rates of injection use in the US have significantly undermined the progress made in HIV and hepatitis prevention. The most effective approach that can be adopted to prevent the increasing prevalence of HIV and hepatitis infections would be for all the opioid users who inject drugs to stop their practices. However, this is not possible because most users who inject themselves are addicted and are unable or unwilling to stop abusing such drugs (NIDA, 2021). Different approaches have therefore been suggested to ensure the safety of injection drug users who mainly abuse opioids such as heroin. Some of the approaches that have been adopted to prevent adverse outcomes in opioid drug users include the implementation of needle exchange programs and the provision of Narcan to help prevent opioid overdose deaths. This paper will therefore present an argument on whether public money should continue to fund Narcan and needle exchange programs or whether such allocations should be abolished.

Literature Review

According to Davis et al. (2018), the only way that individuals who inject drugs, including opioids, can avoid negative health consequences is to stop injecting. However, opioids are quite addictive, which makes it difficult for drug users to stop injecting drugs while some are unwilling to stop the practice. By 2020 nearly 100,000 Americans reported injured in drugs in the past year.  This number represents at least 1.5% of high school students who inject drugs (NIDA, 2021). According to Des Jarlais (2017), needle exchange programs and the provision of Narcan can play a significant role in preventing negative health consequences among individuals who inject drugs. Needle exchange programs provide important services to injection drug users that help to prevent negative health consequences. Needle exchange programs provide services such as disposal of sterile syringes, testing and vaccination, access to syringes, and linking drug abusers to substance abuse treatment and infectious disease care. According to John 2006 needle exchange programs also play a significant role in targeting marginalized populations where there is a disproportionate prevalence of injection drug use (Varkey, 2020). According to Fernandes et al. (2017), scholarly research has therefore indicated that needle exchange programs do not contribute to illegal drug use or crime. Scholarly studies have also indicated that needle exchange programs are effective safe and help to save on costs by contributing to a reduction of transmission of HIV viral hepatitis and other infections. According to Davis et al. (2018), opioid drug users who visit needle exchange programs are five times more likely to enroll in drug treatment, while there are more than three times as likely to stop abusing drugs compared to those who do not utilize such programs. According to Fernandes et al. (2017), needle exchange programs also provide Narcan to opioid drug users, which helps in decreasing opioid overdose deaths. According to Varkey (2020), the restrictions that have been implemented on the founding of Narcan and needle exchange programs should be lifted to allow such programs to continue because of their numerous benefits.



Davis, S. M., Davidov, D., Kristjansson, A. L., Zullig, K., Baus, A., & Fisher, M. (2018).

Qualitative case study of needle exchange programs in the Central Appalachian region of the United States. PLOS ONE, 13(10), e0205466.

Des Jarlais, D. C. (2017). Harm reduction in the USA: the research perspective and an archive to

David Purchase. Harm Reduction Journal, 14(1).

Fernandes, R. M., Cary, M., Duarte, G., Jesus, G., Alarcão, J., Torre, C., Costa, S., Costa, J., &

Carneiro, A. V. (2017). Effectiveness of needle and syringe Programmes in people who inject drugs – An overview of systematic reviews. BMC Public Health, 17(1).

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2021, July 1). Opioid Overdose Crisis. Retrieved November

25, 2021, from

Varkey, B. (2020). Principles of clinical ethics and their application to practice. Medical

Principles and Practice. Published. https://do