So here we are on the cusp of choosing another POTUS and what a relief it will be to finally have this election season behind us. My only hope is that after whoever wins (and yes, I have my fingers crossed and crossed tightly for one candidate!) that we can finally get down to the issues that really matter. I would like to challenge the next POTUS to do what has been dreadfully lacking during the campaign season – to focus on the issues that directly affect the electorate’s lives, that affect our communities, that are robbing our kids of their future, that is tearing apart families…need I go on!!! It is time to deal with the scourge that is taking so many lives. It is time to further advance the War On Addiction. This is not a War On Drugs. Please POTUS, tell us more how you plan to destigmatize the disease of addiction, to decrease demand and your strategies to further build upon the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act .
Take a look at the links and excerpts below, which only serve to reinforce the lost opportunity by both candidates to fully address the heroin/opioid epidemic with passion, commitment and a plan that it deserves.
PBS-Frontline – February 2016: How Would the Candidates Fix the Heroin Epidemic?
“In 2014 alone, more Americans died of a drug overdose than in any other year on record. Nearly half of those deaths – around 29,000 – involved some type of opioid — like heroin. The candidates all agree on the severity of the epidemic, but their proposals vary widely. Some say the answer is more of a focus on treatment, rather than incarceration. Others say the solution is to build a wall with Mexico.”
Hilary Clinton: “We should be saying enough is enough. It’s time we recognize as a nation that for too long, we have had a quiet epidemic on our hands. Plain and simple, drug and alcohol addiction is a disease, not a moral failing — and we must treat it as such.”
Donald Trump: “We are gonna try and help the young people and the old people and the middle-aged people and everybody that got addicted.”
The Week – September 2016: America is Suffering from a Heroin Epidemic. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Don’t Seem to Care.
“In May, police in Springfield, Massachusetts, seized 193 bags of heroin from two middle-aged dealers. The amount of heroin itself was a remarkable testament to how much heroin is flowing through the interior cities of New England. But there was something else remarkable about this heroin. It was branded with the face of Donald Trump.”
“Our political class is largely ignoring what amounts to a nationwide drug epidemic every bit as serious as the 1980s crack epidemic.”
“The CDC estimates that over half a million Americans have an opioid abuse problem involving heroin.”
Written By Steven Kassels, M.D.