Free xml sitemap generator Conservative Nation News: Feds to Focus On Treating Drug Addiction As Disease Not Moral Weakness

Monday, June 11, 2012

Feds to Focus On Treating Drug Addiction As Disease Not Moral Weakness

(LA Times) -- Gil Kerlikowske, the director of the National Drug Control Policy, has announced a new focus on treating drug addiction as a disease, not a moral failing, and emphasizes removing the stigma placed on drug abusers.

Speaking at the Betty Ford Center in Palm Springs, Calif., on Monday, Kerlikowske declared “this country hasn’t looked at recovery in a way that makes sense,” and that he intended to “use the bully pulpit of the White House in a way that brings it out into the open.”

Previous federal drug policies were a three-legged stool, Kerlikowske said, with criminalization, prevention and treatment serving as the foundation for national policies. Now, there will be a fourth leg – recovery.

Forming the administration’s new attitude toward drug problems “meant moving beyond talking in the beltway … it meant talking to real people dealing with addiction,” Kerlikowske said.

He praised those currently undergoing treatment for their addictions, and implored them to publicly talk about their successes, and failures, in order to raise awareness and acceptance for their struggle.

“The best way to understand a person is to hear their story; I’m asking the recovery community to continue to tell the stories,” he said.

Kerlikowske was introduced by Rep. Mary Bono Mack (D-Calif.), who has been a staunch advocate for rehabilitation to take the spotlight in the battle against addiction.

“We’re failing in our policies. When you look at the statistics … we’re losing the battle,” she said.

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