Hilary Clinton has dubbed it a “quiet epidemic”, but really how quiet are the addiction issues in America today? Drug overdoses are the number one cause of accidental death in our country, surpassing motor vehicle accidents and firearm deaths. Someone dies every 19 minutes from a drug overdose, that is, 78 people per day!
Because of this, people are finally starting to speak up and give addiction a voice. The stigma that was once attached to substance abuse, is beginning to be broken. Families are getting tired of burying their loved ones. Our lawmakers have even made some headway, with the passage of the CARA bill and additional policies. All the same, it is not enough. It is really only the beginning.
We mentioned in a previous article that although passing the CARA Act was monumental, without the necessary funds to see it through, we are left back at square one. With that being said, where do our presidential candidates stand on the drug epidemic? Do they plan to fight for more funding? What policies will they propose to continue to stifle this health crisis? Will they both make promises that they won’t keep, or will change actually happen come November?
Hilary Clinton, the Democratic candidate, has proposed a 5 point plan to fight the addiction crisis. If she is elected, she plans to ask the federal government for $10 billion over a 10 year period. A plan that addiction experts and professionals agree with, Clinton intends to improve prevention, treatment and recovery methods, as well as offering better training for prescribers and first responders. The plan is also aimed at reforming the criminal justice system and ending incarceration for non-violent drug offenders.
Clinton’s objectives sound great, but is it all smoke and mirrors? Firstly, if Obama couldn’t get more than $181 million for the CARA bill, how does she plan to get $1 billion a year for 10 years? And as for drug suppliers and dealers, what are her plans to stop the flow of drugs coming into our country and distributed to our youth?
Donald Trump, the Republican candidate, is less specific in his plans to fight addiction. He intends to “cut off the supply” by improving border control. The DEA has reported that drug seizures have quadrupled between 2008 and 2013 at the Mexican border. He also says he will help addicts get the help they need. Okay… how?
Supply and demand is business 101. It’s obvious that Mr. Trump would go that route first. While cutting off the supply is a valid point and one that some lawmakers never mention, it is only one small piece to the puzzle. It’s only a battle, not the entire war. Of the 28,000 opioid related deaths in 2014, more than 18,000 were caused by prescription pain medication. Border control is crucial in this fight, but so is prescription monitoring, better physician education and research for alternatives to pain management.
We need more treatment options and resources. Better prevention methods and an alternative to incarceration need to be put in place. Additionally, physicians need adequate education and training on addiction treatment and stricter laws needs to be put in place for prescribing methods, especially those of the opioid and benzodiazepine variety. And lastly, border control needs to be addressed and supplies need to be cut off. In a perfect world, we would see all of these points addressed; all of our needs would be met and taken care of.
In reality, it’s an uphill battle. Realizing the urgency in this matter, and doing something about it, are two different things entirely. Very little can change without the federal government allocating proper funding for such measures. Furthermore, deciding which point takes precedence over the others, is almost always the most difficult part of addressing major issues plaguing our country. No matter who gets elected this November, the enormity of our nation’s crisis will surely be a huge undertaking for either party. We just hope they are up for the job.
Contact Us For Addiction Treatment
The addiction crisis is affecting everyone in this country. Rich, poor, rural and urban areas. This disease does not care who you are, where we come from, how much money we make, or the people we love. It destroys us all the same. Many times, it begins with a simple prescription for a tooth extraction or post-surgical pain, and ends with a heroin overdose.
If you are struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction, know that your story does not need to end that way. There is hope; we have found a solution to a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. At Clearbrook Treatment Centers, we can show you that recovery is possible. For more than 40 years, we have been providing effective addiction treatment and educating the affected family members. If you are ready to make a change, we are more than happy to help you.
Located in the mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania, you or your loved one will have the opportunity to recover in a serene and peaceful environment. Don’t wait any longer. Take the first step toward the rest of your life. Contact our Admissions Specialists today. We look forward to hearing from you.