Democrats Ask Drug Policy Office to Do More to Combat Opioid Epidemic
Twenty Democratic senators are asking the Office of National Drug Control Policy to do more to combat the opioid epidemic, according to the Associated Press.
The Obama Administration’s 2012 Drug Control Strategy, released Tuesday, advocates diverting non-violent drug offenders into treatment. The White House also advises increasing support for reentry programs that help offenders rejoin their communities, and bolstering innovative enforcement programs shown to improve public health while protecting public safety.
According to an announcement by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, the strategy is based on the premise that drug addiction is a chronic disease of the brain that can be prevented and treated. It applies the principles of public health to reforming the criminal justice system.
Other priority areas include preventing prescription drug abuse, and reducing drugged driving through legislative, law enforcement, and research initiatives. The Administration will continue to work with Congress to address the synthetic drug threat, the report notes.
Legalization of drugs will not be considered, the policy states. “Making drugs more available and more accessible will not reduce drug use and its adverse consequences for public health and safety. We will continue to educate young people and all Americans about the science on the harmful health effects of marijuana use,” the report concludes.