Drug Policy Reform : A Drug Epidemic Within Its Borders Essay

1329 Words Apr 25th, 2015 6 Pages
The United States is facing a drug epidemic within its borders. According to the website drugabuse.gov (n.d.), abuse of tobacco, alcohol, and especially illegal drugs has cost $700 billion dollars annually. Illicit drugs in particular are responsible for $11 billion in health care costs annually, and $193 billion in total costs which includes law enforcement, lost productivity, and healthcare. These growing costs and the recent heroin epidemic is prompting lawmakers to look into policy implementation to save money, and more importantly saves lives. On the national level, President Barack Obama, is introducing policy that would aim to decrease addiction rates across the country. According to the Whitehouse website, Drug Policy Reform (n.d.), the president’s plan calls for four main focuses. The first being to prevent drug use before it ever begins through education. This is aimed at children’s and teenagers and is implemented in the schools. By intercepting, and providing education early rates of drunk and drugged driving can be drastically reduced. This is also aimed at decreasing future HIV rates which has been on the upswing since the use of heroin has exploded. Education is a cost-effective approach to curtailing later costs. The second focus is to provide access to treatment for those struggling with addiction. In 2013, the president requested a $1.4 billion increase in funding for treatment programs. In many cases, addicts best bet for a start in recovery is to get…

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