What Are the Presidential Candidates Thinking About Addiction?

The opioid abuse epidemic has been declared a public health emergency. So how are the presidential hopefuls intending to address it? Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders, Ben Carson, and Marco Rubio are the political front runners in our current presidential election, as of the date of this podcast. What are their positions on this epidemic? Listen to a group of people who are in recovery from opiate addiction discuss these politician’s proposed drug policies.

Discussion Guide:

Are you familiar with drug policies being proposed by presidential candidates?

Would America be protected from heroin if we tightened border control by building a wall? (Trump)

Would more people enter treatment if there were federal funds to pay for it? (Clinton)

Is it a good use of federal funds to ensure that first responders have Narcan to reverse opiate overdosel? (Clinton)

Would fewer people become addicted to opiates if drug prescribers had additional training on substance abuse? (Clinton)

Should drug treatment be favored over prison sentences for low level and non-violent offenders? (Clinton)

Will tightening  immigration regulations stop the flow of drugs from Mexico to the US? (Cruz)

Should pharmaceutical companies be monitored to ensure they don’t overcharge for life saving drugs like Narcan to reverse opiate overdose? (Sanders)

And should pharmaceutical companies be monitored so they don’t continue to produce and market substances of abuse without concern for negative consequences?  (Sanders)

Is it sufficient for people who abuse substances to examine their inner core, with the hopes of recovery? If this is a helpful idea, is it an adequate foundation for a drug policy? (Carson)

Are you politically involved? If not, why? What are the benefits of advocating on behalf of substance abusers?

Supplemental Reading:

The Presidential Candidate U-Turn on Addiction, Keri Blakinger