“Instead, it builds on decades of research demonstrating that while law enforcement should always remain a vital piece to protecting public safety, addiction is a brain disorder—one that can be prevented and treated, and from which people recover.”
The problem of addiction in this country hits close to home for Botticelli, who said “I’m also a person in long-term recovery from substance-abuse disorders”.... ”I’m speaking about my recovery because for too long the stigma associated with the disease of addiction has quieted too many of our fellow Americans who have struggled with this disease.”
The 98-page strategy highlights the nation’s growing middle-class opioid problem, due to the rampant heroin and prescription painkiller scourge raging in middle-America. The strategy also points out that drug overdoses will most likely surpass traffic accidents as the leading cause of accidental death in 2014, according to the American College of Physicians. What’s more, the strategy focuses on the legal alternative of substance use disorder treatment over incarceration.
“The plan we released today calls on healthcare providers to prevent and treat addictive disorders just like they would treat any other chronic disorder, like diabetes or heart disease,” Botticelli noted. “It calls on law enforcement, courts, and doctors to collaborate with each other to treat addiction as a public health issue, not a crime.”