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Friday, July 19, 2013

Addiction Public Health Policy

Addiction affects millions of people across the globe in countless ways. The way in which we view and treat addiction is certainly better than it was in the past. Fortunately, addiction is now viewed as a disease of the mind and is no longer considered a moral failure.

On Thursday, the National Drug Control Policy Director R. Gil Kerlikowske told the attendees of a conference on prescription drug abuse that addiction should be treated as a public health issue.

Every year, drug overdoses take the lives of more Americans than traffic crashes or gunshot wounds, Kerlikowske told the group. He is a big supporter of prescription drug take-back events which keep drugs from falling into the hands of young people, the Associated Press reports.

At the conference, Kerlikowske talked about a number of issues, such as medical marijuana, cocaine use and heroin use. He believes that medical marijuana sends the wrong message to young people, but he pointed out that there has been a 40 percent drop in cocaine use since 2006.

While there has been a decrease in prescription drug abuse from 7 million in 2010, to 6.1 million in 2011, Kerlikowske is concerned about the rise in heroin use.

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