Clinton lays out plan for substance abuse ‘epidemic’

2 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Clinton Releases Anti-Drug Abuse Plan.

Presidential candidates in both parties are ramping up their anti-drug policy efforts Wednesday, with both Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton and Republican contender Chris Christie remarking upon the scourge of drugs and alcohol as they have traveled the campaign trail, particularly in New Hampshire where addiction rates to heroin have soared in the last decade.Hillary Clinton is proposing $10 billion in new federal grants to combat drug and alcohol addiction, the latest in a string of domestic policy proposals from the Democratic presidential contender.$10 billion initiative released by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign today is also aimed at fighting alcohol addiction and changing criminal justice practices to reduce penalties on non-violent drug offenders.Construction spending in the U.S. reached its highest level since 2008 in July, raising hopes that robust domestic growth will counteract turbulence in world markets.

In a Tuesday evening op-ed in the New Hampshire Union Leader that the campaign circulated to reporters Wednesday, Clinton said that as president, she would direct $7.5 billion to states that develop “strong” proposals to combat substance abuse and expand drug treatment. Proposal includes $7.5 billion over 10 years to fund federal-state partnerships in which states would get $4 in federal support for every $1 they commit toward programs that satisfy Clinton’s requirements. Clinton regularly talks about how surprised she is to hear from voters in Iowa and New Hampshire about the challenge of combating heroin use, prescription drug abuse and other addictions.

Would also direct Justice Department to issue guidance prioritizing substance abuse treatment over incarceration for nonviolent and low-level federal drug offenders. The plan also would offer federal money for local “drug courts,” in which people arrested for minor offenses related to addiction are given treatment and close oversight instead of jail. Clinton would ensure all first responders have access to naloxone, a drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose but which has become prohibitively expensive for some police departments. It will take commitment from all corners — law enforcement, doctors, insurance companies and government at every level,” Clinton wrote. “That’s why my plan starts by partnering with states and communities across America to meet these goals and substantially expand access to treatment.

Her plan includes a new grant program for states to tackle the issue and increased funding for an existing grant program. “It’s time we recognize as a nation that for too long, we have had a quiet epidemic on our hands. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky have focused on criminal justice reform for drug-related crimes, according to the Concord Monitor. (Clinton’s proposal touches on criminal justice reform, too).

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, meanwhile, has “made reference to his daughter’s arrest in 2002 for trying to fill a false prescription; she was later sentenced to 10 days for possession of crack cocaine during her time at a drug rehab center,” wrote the Monitor. Like most other states, Iowa has such a registry, which is designed to make it harder for addicts to “doctor shop” for multiple prescriptions to the same medication. State regulators have asked Iowa legislators to require doctors to check the registry in certain circumstances, but physician groups have successfully opposed such a requirement.

Unlike some issues, battling drug abuse is not particularly partisan or divisive, though Republicans are likely to question additional federal spending. She said she would also change existing federal regulations that prevent nurse practitioners and physician assistants from prescribing medications to treat opioid addiction, and said she would review Medicare, Medicaid and Veterans Administration policies to be sure they are helping to encourage the best treatment practices.

Republican candidate Chris Christie, who is New Jersey’s governor, put out an ad Wednesday in which he also pushed for more drug-addiction treatment. To promote the announcement, the Clinton campaign posted stories about battling drug addiction on Instagram and Facebook Wednesday morning and planned a Facebook Q&A with campaign aides to discuss it at 12:30 p.m.

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