They can’t decide on gun control, immigration or taxes, but one thing presidential hopefuls are all supporting is an end to the drug epidemic taking over the U.S. The GOP candidates called for more compassion when it comes to the topic of addiction. ABC News reports, Gov. Jeb Bush said at the New Hampshire Forum on Addiction and the Heroin Epidemic, “This is a national calling. We should be able to talk about this without all the stigma attached to it. We need to eliminate the stigma.”
All in attendance agree substance abuse should be viewed as a curable disease, not a moral failing. And it’s that outlook they want the rest of America to take, as well. The residents of New Hampshire can sympathize, as “health officials estimate that about 400 people died from overdoses in New Hampshire in 2015 — including heroin and the powerful opiate fentanyl — more than doubling its own rate of overdose deaths in 2013,” the story reports. Both Bush and Carly Fiorina have shared their first-hand experiences with children and addiction and how it has affected their lives, their families and now their politics.
Fiorina lost her step-daughter to drugs. And, as the story reports, “Bush’s daughter graduated from a drug court program in Florida, and he and the other candidates are advocating for the expansion of such programs nationwide. Drug courts send non-violent offenders through treatment programs. The candidates advocate for a similar slate of other policies, including cracking down on dealers and doctors who overprescribe pain killers, placing a stronger focus on prevention and creating more peer-based recovery programs.”It’s this advocacy that will change the outlook on addiction, erasing the stigma that should no longer be associated with the disease.
Chris Christie, who has also spoken about how addiction has affect his family life, said these insightful words: “We’ve been programmed in our society to talk about this as a moral failing. As long as we continue to do this we’re going to treat this differently than other diseases.”
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