A letter to the editor can be a powerful outlet for voicing opinion on health issues. The
length of your letter should be 200-400 words in length. The objective of a letter to the
editor is to increase understanding of an urgent public health problem, foster a dialogue
around a specific issue involving the author and the community, and provide direction for
future action on the issue. For this assignment, select a recent public health policy action at
the local, state, or federal level. Prepare a response to the policy action in the form of a
letter to the editor. Use the “Guidelines for Preparing a Letter to the Editor” resource and
the following criteria to prepare your letter to the editor.
Clearly state your position. Articulate whether you agree or disagree with the chosen policy
action (or inaction). Highlight the uniqueness of your opinion so that it is not simply
restating the position or opinion in the chosen policy action (or inaction).
Critique the merits of the action. Describe the impact the action will have on health
outcomes. Comment on what you would do differently (if you disagree with the action) or
highlight why the course of action was appropriate (if you agree with the action). Critique
whether the authors have used compelling data to support the action or challenge the
action if you disagree. Describe whether the authors have identified criteria to measure the
policy action or recommend what you would use as criteria.
Provide recommendations. Propose specific steps that should be taken to strengthen
efforts. Offer one or two suggestions, maximum. Avoid statements such as “more funding
needed” or “more research needed.”
Use appropriate tone. Use professional language that focuses on the merits of the positions.
Do not include language that is disparaging or condescending or include content that is
irrelevant to the argument.
Cite references. Include a minimum of one reference and no more than five references.
While APA style is not required for the body of this assignment, solid academic writing is
expected, and documentation of sources should be presented using APA formatting
guidelines, which can be found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success
This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment
to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.
You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. Please refer to the directions in
the Student Success Center.
Letter to the Editor
LETTER TO THE EDITOR 2
Opium addiction is one of the most significant issues affecting the US health system.
Approximately 64,000 Americans die yearly due to drug overdose with opium overdoses
resulting in more than 42,000 deaths in 2017 alone (Kertesz, & Gordon, 2019). Additionally, 130
people die daily from an opioid overdose in U.S (CDC, 2017). Consequently, President Trump
termed the opioid disaster as a public health catastrophe in October 2017. To confront the driving
forces behind the opium crisis, president trump implemented a safer prescribing plan that will
significantly suppress opioid prescriptions. Additionally, congress in consultation with the
players in the health care sector passes the SUPPORT Act that primarily targets to address the
opioid crisis within the United States.
SUPPORT Act is meant to firstly reduce demand and over-prescription and it also
encompasses enlightening US citizens on the dangers of opioid abuse. Secondly, the Act
facilitates reducing the supply of illicit drugs by dismantling the domestic and international
supply chain. And thirdly the Act facilitates rehabilitation of those individuals struggling with
drug addiction through recovery support services and evidence-based treatment. I agree with the
aforementioned policy action since curbing over-prescription will cut opioid prescriptions by
nearly one third within three years. Also, by securing borders land borders, waterways and port
of entry against smuggling will keep this dangerous out of the American soil (Hodge, Gulinson,
& Hensley, 2018).
The implementation of the SUPPORT Act to the letter will significantly reduce the
number of opioid deaths. However, the government needs to implement prescription monitoring
programs that encompass state-run data that is capable of tracking all prescriptions of controlled
substances and this strategy can come in handy in improving opioid pain-relieving prescriptions.
In curbing the overdose problem, the government should evaluate state data and find ways to
LETTER TO THE EDITOR 3
access Medicaid and state-run health programs to address inappropriate opioid prescriptions
through the use of strict techniques such as drug use review, prior authorization, and patient
Contextually, I would recommend the empowerment of state and local police
departments so as they can put to work effective practices such as talking with members of the
communities to identify opioid drug addicts and enhance accessibility to substance abuse
treatment services. This will significantly reduce the number of people dying due to a lack of
emergency response services to reverse an overdose. Also, I recommend that the government
should work collaboratively with local leaders to optimize efforts of responding to the opioid
LETTER TO THE EDITOR 4
CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) (2017).
Hodge, J. G., Gulinson, C., & Hensley, D. (2018). The Opioid Crisis Response Act: Looking
Ahead, Ignoring the Present. Hodge JG, Gulinson C, Hensley D. The Opioid Crisis
Response Act: Looking ahead, Ignoring the Present. Jurist.
Kertesz, S. G., & Gordon, A. J. (2019). A crisis of opioids and the limits of prescription control:
United States. Addiction, 114(1), 169-180.