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#6 - The number of hosptial emergency room visits

LSATer
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Hi,

I just want to know if my reasoning below is correct on this one.

I narrowed the answer to A and C and E. I was looking for an answer choice that could add to the premise and weaken the conclusion. So basically another reason that the number of emergency room visits by heroin users increased but the use of heroin didn't rise during the decade. At first, I thought C could provide another reason. But I think C is wrong because it could actually support the conclusion. If the number of medical emergencies increased dramatically across the board AND the emergency room visit by heroin users also increased by 25% that could support the argument that the use of heroin rose in that decade.

E basically functions like C where it's giving you a reason why the emergency room visit are increasing (because of viral infections, malnourishment, and overdose) but that could mean that more people are coming in with these symptoms because they are using heroin. Which would support the conclusion.

Whereas, A is saying: No, people were actually going to the the emergency room for another reason AND they just happen to be heroin users.

Did I analyze this correctly?

Thank you,

LSATer
Steven Palmer
PowerScore Staff
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Hi LSATer!

You got it! This question stem can be a little tricky, since our job in answering it is to both account for the statistic and not support the conclusion that heroin use rose. Answer choice (A) is correct because it explains why there was such an increase in the number of hospital room visits by heroin users without giving any reason that heroin use is up. A good prephrase for this question could be, for example, that the heroin sold in the 1980s became much more deadly. That's exactly what you're looking for: changing what happens to heroin users without increasing the number of users.

Choice (C) supports the conclusion, just as you said. It is essentially saying that there are more medical emergencies related to drug abuse. Choice (E) is wrong because it does not tell us why hospital visits by users would increase in the 1980s, so we would cross it off right away.

Best,

Steven
LSATer
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Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 9:35 pm
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Great explanation. Thank you Steven!

LSATer
jentakesthelsat2018
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Hi,
I still don't understand why E would be wrong. I certainly see why A is right, but can't understand why E isn't. The question just asks what would explain the increased number of emergency room visits without supporting that the heroin use rose. E does that-- if viral and bacterial infections linked to heroin rise that would explain why those people go to the emergency room at higher rates, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they're going because their heroin use increased. For example, what if there's some shortage of penicillin leading to the increased infections. There could be a number of ways the viral and bacterial infection rates among heroin users rose without having them use more heroin. Can someone explain why while this answer choice doesn't support the conclusion, it's wrong?
Thanks a lot
Adam Tyson
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Thanks for the question, Jen! You're right that if there had been an increase in the number of infections among heroin users, that might explain an increase in the number of visits to emergency rooms by heroin users without an increase in heroin use. But be careful! Did answer choice E say there had been an increase in the number of infections? It did not! All it told us was that those infections make up the majority of cases of emergency room visits among heroin users. The question stem needs us to explain the increase in the number of visits, and that answer doesn't do it.

Answer A explains the increase in emergency room visits, and does so in a way that doesn't support the claim of increased heroin use. That makes it far better than answer E, which didn't explain the increase.

Let us know if you need further help! We're here for you!
Adam M. Tyson
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