Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton’s campaign unveiled a $10 billion plan to fight alcohol and drug abuse. Clinton addressed the issue during a couple of visits in Iowa and New Hampshire, two states with the highest substance abuse rate in the U.S.
According to the recent proposal, states would receive from the federal government $4 for every $1 they use on anti-drug abuse plans under a $7.5 billion, decade-long plan. Clinton’s campaign also pledged to urge Department of Justice soften practices with respect to non-violent drug-abusers. Clinton believes that these offenders should receive medical treatment rather than being put behind bars.
If DOJ complies with Clinton’s request, the savings made to the criminal justice system should be used to further fund the anti-drug abuse proposal.
On Tuesday, Clinton said before a New Hampshire audience that she was appalled to learn about the amplitude of the heroin epidemic in the state. She also said that everyone knew about the problem before statistics were released. She pleaded the nation to acknowledge that there’s a “quite epidemic” of drug abuse in the U.S.
“Plain and simple, drug and alcohol addiction is a disease, not a moral failing — and we must treat it as such,”
She also promised to make substance abuse a key issue in her 2016 presidential campaign. Her staffers met with health authorities, lawmakers, and treatment providers in both states on Thursday and Friday in an attempt to look for new ways of tackling the problem. The attendees discussed the epidemic of heroin addiction in New Hampshire and the growing methamphetamine abuse in Iowa.
Voters in the two states were also concerned about the issue. A New Hampshire concerned mom who said she had to take care of her 5-year-old grandchild because her daughter was a drug addict, asked Clinton what her opinion on the issue was.
Clinton replied that the “quite epidemic” is no longer an urban area problem. It is now very common in small towns and rural areas, as well.
The Democratic presidential candidate addressed drug abuse in Iowa too. She said that the problem was tearing families apart, although people try to avoid discussing about it. She believes that they do so because they find it hard to deal with it.
A recent report on drug abuse released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the numbers of deaths caused by heroin addiction more than doubled between 2008 and 2013, from 3,040 to 8,260.
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