November 8, 2016
With the 2016 Presidential Election coming up within the next couple days, everyone is on the edge of their seat waiting to see who the next President of the United States will be. Both candidates in their races have expounded upon their stances in regard to different critical issues, one of which is the epidemic of drug abuse and addiction. Being that addiction is on the rise in our contemporary society, it is very important that our next leader have a solid plan of action to address this. While both have explained their stances more or less, it brings the question of whether the approach to the epidemic will truly change with the new presidency.
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have a bit of a disparity in the way they plan to target the issue of addiction. Clinton has laid out a comprehensive plan that she wants to implement, while Mr. Trump’s plan of action has mostly been stated in pieces throughout his campaign speeches. While both candidates focused mainly on the epidemic of opiates, their overall stances can be indicators of how they may possibly handle the rest of substance abuse issues. Let’s break down each candidate’s stance, as well as their plan of how to handle the issue.
Hillary Clinton’s Plan of Action for Addiction
Clinton has laid out a 10 billion dollar proposal that targets five areas of the addiction epidemic. These five points are prevention, treatment, naloxone and first responders, prescribers, and reform of the criminal justice system. The proposed plan is to send 7.5 billion to the states to flow into one of the five areas above, while the remainder will go toward the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant Program (SABG). Clinton’s plan includes increasing research-based prevention programs within schools, expanding upon treatment and recovery program accessibility, and prioritizing treatment in lieu of incarceration for low-level and non-violent drug offenders. Her plan does not include anything in regard to stopping the flow of drugs into the country.
Donald Trump’s Plan for Battling Addiction
Trump’s plan focuses mainly on the prevention of drugs entering into the country. He states that his proposal of building a wall along the border of Mexico will keep drugs from entering the country in the first place. Since it has been found that most of the heroin that has been seized in the U.S. has been shown to be from Mexico, the idea is that the wall would prevent it from even getting into the country. Another proposal of his is making it harder for China to ship drugs, such as fentanyl, into the country. According to the DEA, China is mass producing fentanyl and then selling it to drug trafficking groups within the United States. Trump has also supported the use of naloxone and wants to make it easier for doctors to prescribe it. Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, had implemented stricter minimum sentences for drug offenders as governor of Indiana, and Trump has suggested that he aligns with Pence in his stance regarding drug offenders and criminal justice.
While there are large differences in each candidate’s approach to the addiction epidemic, with Clinton’s mainly being helping those already addicted and preventing more people from becoming addicts, and Trump mainly focusing on cutting the supply lines, both of their plans have largely important points. Both of these plans have factors that could be extremely conducive to decreasing the statistics of addiction. Either way, it seems safe to say that if the candidates stay true to their word, we will be seeing large changes in the way that the epidemic is being handled. Ideally, whichever way the election goes, the winners plan will be implemented with haste to begin to improve this spreading epidemic quickly. So whether you see Trump or Clinton as the ideal next president, remember to get out there and vote!