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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Presidential Candidate Announces Drug and Alcohol Abuse Plan

With the White House and other members of the federal government tackling substance abuse head on, a number of number of presidential candidates have begun to focus on the problem and what they plan to do about it, should they be elected next year. It is hard to overlook the fact that millions of Americans are struggling with drugs and alcohol, especially opioids.

This week, Hillary Clinton announced her plan to combat drug and alcohol abuse which includes increasing access to treatment and recovery programs, CNN reports. The plan also includes expanding access to the life saving opioid overdose reversal drug - naloxone. She would like  to see states guide addicts to treatment not prison.

"It's time we recognize that there are gaps in our health care system that allow too many to go without care — and invest in treatment," Clinton wrote in an op-ed. "It's time we recognize that our state and federal prisons, where 65 percent of inmates meet medical criteria for substance use disorders, are no substitute for proper treatment — and reform our criminal justice system." 

The Clinton plan calls for $10 billion in funding, $7.5 billion of which will be used for increasing the amount local treatment programs, according to the article. For every dollar a state puts up, they can receive $4 from the federal government. She plans to pay for the plan with the money that will be saved from the Attorneys General  prioritizing "treatment over incarceration for nonviolent and low-level federal drug offenders.”

On the campaign trail, many candidates became aware of just how serious the substance abuse problem is when they arrived in New Hampshire - a state with a high rate of opioid abuse per capita. Citizens of the state asked the candidates, Hillary included, how they would address drug treatment.

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