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Friday, July 29, 2016

Addiction Recovery: A Bipartisan Approach

When it comes to the American opioid epidemic there are few silver linings to be had when you consider that 78 people are dying every day in the United States. Opioid overdose deaths have surpassed fatal car wrecks in this country, as lawmakers continue to search for effective tools for mitigating the deadly scourge. And while progress has been made, there is still much work to be done.

Recently, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) was adopted in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate—highlighting a bipartisan paradigm shift in thinking away from imprisoning addicts, towards providing addiction recovery. Much of the move away from support for draconian drug laws that stemmed from our country's “war on drugs” can be attributed to the fact that opioid use disorder affects people from every socio-economic bracket. What’s more, unlike previous American drug epidemics, this problem predominantly affects White Americans—many of which live in rural parts of the country.

As November draws closer, Presidential candidates have had addiction on their minds, as the future of the problem will rest in their hands. At the Republican National Convention (RNC) last week, and the Democratic National Convention (DNC) this week, forums on addiction were held, The Washington Post reports. Both conventions have had a recovery and wellness rooms, where people living with a substance use disorder could seek help.

The DNC was held held at the Wells Fargo Arena this week, not far down the road from an open-air heroin market, according to the article. As politicians are discussing policy, people are buying potentially fatal bags of heroin eight miles away.

“We have the largest-scale open-air heroin market probably on the East Coast,” said Patrick J. Trainor, a spokesman with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)in Philadelphia. “It’s definitely a start, and we’re really, really pleased with that.”

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