This year’s presidential election is approaching rapidly, and along with the typical topics up for debate, drug use and addiction are increasing areas of concern. Here we take a brief look at this year’s presidential candidates’ views on this topic as well as their plans if they get elected or re-elected. Find out more about what our future president, whoever he may be, has to say about the opioid epidemic, legalizing marijuana, and other related topics.
In the aftermath of Biden’s son Hunter’s battle with drug abuse being made public, the presidential candidate has had quite a bit to say about substance abuse in the U.S. Biden’s view on addiction is primarily focused on getting people the help they need. He has noted on several occasions that addicts should have access to professional treatment and not be incarcerated solely for their disease.
Biden’s campaign website discusses the opioid crisis, explicitly stating the following:
“Biden will tackle this crisis by making sure people have access to high-quality health care – including substance use disorder treatment and mental health services.”
His website also mentions a plan to attempt to prevent matters from getting worse and fighting the current opioid crisis with criminal justice reform and stopping the flow of illegal drugs into the U.S.
Biden’s views on marijuana include decriminalization but not necessarily legalization. Most Democratic candidates have been advocating to legalize the drug, but Biden has been a bit more conservative regarding the matter. However, because most democratic voters agree that marijuana should be legal, Biden’s views have been wavering, and he recently appeared to be softening his perspective in light of the right scientific evidence to support legalization.
Bernie Sanders’s view on addiction is similar to Biden’s, and he has been open for many years about the need to address addiction as a disease and not a crime. Sanders has said that, in regard to the opioid crisis, addicts need detox and treatment instead of being thrown in jail. He has also, as many others, blamed pharmaceutical companies for the ongoing epidemic.
To get people the professional help they so desperately need, Sanders supports Warren’s CARE Act that would dedicate $100 billion over a ten year period to funding treatment initiatives and harm reduction programs across the nation.
Regarding marijuana, Sanders wants to legalize the drug and expunge records. Regarding the war on drugs, his website states the following:
“The fifty-year war on drugs is a failed policy that has led to the mass incarceration of nonviolent offenders and has unfairly targeted people of color.”
In fact, he was the first major presidential candidate to share this plan back in 2016. He also says that he would attempt to enact this within the first 100 days of his presidency.
President Donald Trump
As president for nearly four years now, Trump has already had to deal with a number of drug and addiction-related issues during his term.
Unlike other candidates’ views on drugs, Trump’s are somewhat less forgiving. However, in October 2017, Trump declared the opioid epidemic to be a national public health emergency and started dedicating more funding to programs that could potentially help with this problem. And to try to combat the opioid crisis, Trump has recommended harsh punishments for drug dealers up to and including execution.
During Trump’s presidency, the Department of Health and Human Services developed a five-step plan to battle the opioid epidemic, and there has also been a crackdown on health provides who were prescribing opioids carelessly. Trump also signed an act that provides more funding and better screening tools for customs agents stationed at the Mexican border to prevent the trafficking of fentanyl and other opioids.
Trump’s view on legalizing marijuana, however, has been to hold off. He contends that more research is needed on the subject before taking the next step. But for now, it’s okay for legalization to be determined by individual states and municipalities.
It’s important to note that the opioid crisis isn’t the only problem regarding substances that Americans face. Alcoholism, addiction to other prescription drugs, and the abuse of cocaine and meth have not gone away. All of these problems have continued to increase and can be every bit as devastating as opioid addiction.
Getting Help for Addiction
Just Believe Detox and Just Believe Recovery offer integrated, evidence-based programs in both partial hospitalization and inpatient formats. Our approach to addiction treatment is comprehensive and intended to provide those we treat with all the tools and support they need to be successful at maintaining long-lasting abstinence and wellness.
Therapeutic services and activities we provide include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Individual counseling
- Family counseling
- Group support
- Health and wellness education
- Substance abuse education
- Life skills training
- Relapse prevention
- Art and music therapy
- Aftercare planning
If you or someone you love is battling addiction, we urge you to contact us today. Discover how we help the people who need it most get clean and sober and foster the healthy and satisfying lives they deserve!