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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Substance Abuse Becomes an Issue in 2016 Election Campaign

substance abuse 2016 electionDrug addiction and substance abuse emerged as a hot-button issue in the 2016 election campaign after Republican candidate Jeb Bush met with hospital staff, police personnel, and recovering addicts during a stop in New Hampshire. Reacting to alarming recent statistics, Bush was quoted as saying, "It is all over the place; it is something extraordinary; it's heartbreaking."

Bush was reacting to sobering stats compiled in the New Hampshire city of Manchester, where drug abuse has become a significant problem. In the 30-day period prior to Bush's appearance, there were 102 confirmed drug overdoses in the city alone, leading to 10 deaths. New Hampshire has also seen a statewide spike in drug overdoses compared to last year, with data suggesting that emergency room visits related to drug abuse climbed more than 75 percent year-over-year.

On the Democratic campaign trail, presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton became the first candidate to forward a substantial pledge on the issue. She is proposing a $10 billion strategy that will seek to help addicts rather than punish them with jail time, while providing frontline law enforcement personnel with more immediate access to potentially life-saving medications that can reverse overdoses.

Political perception of drug abuse and addiction is showing signs of change. In years and decades past, lawmakers tended to revert to a punitive approach: cracking down hard on offenders without paying much mind to recovery or alternatives. According to Linda Paquette, executive director of a New Hampshire nonprofit drug prevention center, "In the past, addiction was often viewed by policymakers as a moral failing." But with social media providing new tools for recovering addicts to share their stories, politicians have been taking a new view. "Minds are being changed," Paquette said.

While it will take time for top-level policy changes to have a tangible effect in the social sphere, progressive treatment facilities like Complete Harmony offer understanding insight and compassionate care that can help people slay the demons of drug and alcohol addition. If you or someone you care about is suffering, we can help. Please contact us today to discuss insurance coverage, inquire about medical detox and holistic treatment, or speak confidentially with one of our admissions counselors.
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