The Drug Epidemic in Richmond City

Richmond city officials and local representatives should address the drug epidemic and the need for affordable rehabilitation centers as the overdose and substance-related issues continue to rise.

Drug-induced violence and the repercussions of sustained substance use are a major concern for the government as well as scientific institutions. Bondurant et al. provide extensive research on local crime and its possible relation to drug rehabilitation centers. According to scientific evidence, an increased amount of substance addiction treatment (SAT) centers in the local area can reduce the overall amount of violence and felonies conducted by drug users. The main idea behind the authors’ research lies in evaluating the changes in crime rates during the periods when SAT buildings are available or non-available for clients. The information needed to estimate the numbers of SAT facilities were collected using county-level data, and crime outcomes were measured using sources from the National Center for Health Statistics and the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program.

The researchers implemented the acquired data in statistical analysis and model creation procedures, which provided detailed estimates for several effects of SAT centers. Results indicate a significant reduction in the number of violent crimes involving homicide, aggravated assault, and burglary if an additional rehabilitation facility is open in the local area. Moreover, an extra SAT building can account for a 0.50% decrease in annual drug-related death counts, as well as lower the associated governmental expenses by at least 4.2 million dollars. Overall, the authors demonstrate that a higher amount of SAT centers is beneficial in terms of reduced numbers of misconducts and diminished mortality rates.

The general credibility of this research proves to be exceptional. The scholars present a thorough insight into the topic and its background, carefully explaining the essential points and stating inconsistencies in previous studies. The data implemented is gathered from highly reliable governmental institutions and is applied according to the scientific standard. The details of the statistical models cover not only the main effects discussed but also explore the other outcomes of crime reduction, such as financial costs. The original article and the supplementary data can be found online via the Google Scholar platform.

According to Estes, a thriving drug rehabilitation center should adhere to certain qualities, enabling such centers to be an efficient helping instrument for people with substance addictions. Estes provides ten attributes defining a highly sustainable SAT facility. The features described by the author include one-on-one therapeutical sessions, the presence of certified clinicians, job employment programs, a high success rate, and family involvement. Physical activities, a healthy diet, scientifically proven medical plans, Western and Eastern treatment methodologies, and group-based projects for the clients are also listed as crucial benefits for the center. Estes argues that all of these qualities together can account for a productive SAT facility capable of providing proper medical care.

Estes is a co-founder of an affluent rehabilitation project WeRecover, which aids people seeking professional drug-addiction centers. The article is based on the author’s direct experience with various SAT companies, as well as credible popular online sources, for example, TED talks and clinical studies on substance overuse. Overall, Estes’s ideas are supported by professionals in this field, and the text can be easily accessed on HuffPost.

The claim for establishing cheap rehabilitation options might also be seen as an unfavorable idea by some scholars. Juergens offers several explanations as to why drug-addiction help services must maintain a viable treatment cost. First of all, the author highlights that many SAT facilities permit cover the expenses using insurance, and some of them even consider financing options for the clients. Additionally, there are multiple support groups and credit allowances for people in need. The financial sums an average drug user spends on buying the substances can surpass the amount required for medical care. It is stated that in the long-term, rehabilitation investments will always prove to be more beneficial.

The arguments included in this article are generally supported by official public sources, which creates a formidable challenge for the thesis statement chosen. Nevertheless, the lack of statistical evidence and several questionable reports are still present within the text. The research into the issue is relatively short and is not grounded in scientific studies. For example, the funds an individual spends on drugs might not always be as insurmountable as the author described; concrete facts from government institutions are still needed.

An alarming Fox 59 news report was published in November 2017 by McGill. The author investigates statements from official representatives of Wayne County about the amount of substance use deaths in the region. It is stated that the mortality rates increase rapidly every year, mainly due to opioids. Furthermore, the county’s location adheres to the drugs’ accessibility, making it easier to acquire or sell the needed product. Drastic changes in the rehabilitation services are necessary for a successful resolution of this issue.

The arguments provided by the author were gathered directly from two government-certified employees, which leaves no doubt about its credibility. Additionally, there is a video report available and published on an open-source news website, which can be accessed via the Google platform. The article’s reliability was confirmed by the website’s editorial personnel before publishing, and extra information on the topic is presented on the webpage.


Bondurant, S., Lindo, J., & Swensen, I. (2018). Substance abuse treatment centers and local crime. Journal of Urban Economics, 104, 124-133. Web.

Estes, S. (2017). Top 10 attributes of an excellent drug rehab. HuffPost. Web.

Juergens, J. (2020). Understanding the cost of rehab. Addiction Center. Web.

McGill, N. (2017). Wayne County sets record for drug-related deaths. Fox 59. Web.

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