The White House is not ignoring the problem with drug and alcohol abuse in this country, and the trend toward legalization of marijuana among the states isn’t going unnoticed. They recently released the 2014 and outlined a plan of attack to help get the ever-growing problem of substance abuse in the US under control.
Opiate Abuse, Addiction, and Overdose
One of the major points of focus is naloxone, an anti-overdose drug commonly used by emergency medical personnel to help a patient in crisis to survive an opiate overdose. The goal is to put this life-saving medication into the hands of as many people as possible.
Michael Botticelli is the Acting Director of National Drug Control Policy. In a White House blog post, he said: “The widespread use of naloxone in the hands of law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical personnel will save lives. It can also serve as a critical intervention point to get people into treatment and on the path to recovery.”
Marijuana: No Change
Federal law classifies marijuana as a Schedule I substance with no medical value and illegal for all uses in the United States. The administration’s stance on the subject hasn’t changed with the new strategy for 2014, according to The Christian Science Monitor. Rather, they point out that there are a number of challenges facing the nation as a result of changing laws, not the least of which is the “the declining perceptions of harm – and associated increases in use – of marijuana among young people.”
No direct assault against the changes was announced either, indicating that the federal government is standing with residents of states where the drug is not legal and taking a “wait and see” approach in regard to how to proceed.
Treatment Over Incarceration
Another priority of the White House’s strategy is to address the fact that a huge proportion of the incarcerated population in this country is behind bars due to drug-related charges.
Botticelli says that the policy “rejects the notion that we can arrest and incarcerate our way out of the nation’s drug problem. Instead, it builds on decades of research demonstrating that while law enforcement should always remain a vital piece to protecting public safety, addiction is a brain disorder — one that can be prevented and treated, and from which people recover.”
As a result, an overhaul of the criminal justice system is called for, with a priority placed upon connecting those who need it with the treatment that will help them change their lives for the better.
If your loved one is living with substance abuse, you can help them to move forward today. Offer them the strategy of treatment here with us at Alta Mira. Contact us now to get started.