Joe Biden has long been known as a stickler for incarcerating those with any drug offenses. Due to his 1994 federal crime bill, there are people still sitting in prison right now serving life sentences for drug offenses. He believed being tough on drug users was the way to combat it. Instead, it leads to a wave of mass incarceration while still showing increasing numbers of drug and addiction epidemic over the years. He is now taking a different approach in confronting a still fully raging drug addiction epidemic that has now been made worse by the coronavirus pandemic.
What Will President Biden Do to Address Overdose Deaths?
Joe Biden has taken the step to stockpile his team with addiction experts who have extensive backgrounds in public health. They intend to accentuate new funding for substance abuse treatment and prevention. They also intend to get rid of jail time for drug use offenses. This approach is the complete opposite of the stance he has done in the past.
President Joe Biden is taking the office during a very vulnerable time in our country with the fight against drug addiction. During this pandemic, many states are seeing double-digit spikes regarding overdose deaths and are left to deal with it as public health workers are already stretched so thin with combating the coronavirus. Between April 2019 and April 2020, over 76,000 people have died as the result of a drug overdose. This number is realistically much higher of lockdown, social isolation, high unemployment, and lack of resources.
Joe Biden’s Son’s Addiction Struggle
Biden has gone on to speak about his own son’s struggles with substance abuse during his campaign for office. He has called for more investments in drug prevention and drug treatment and demands that drug companies be held accountable for their role in the opioid epidemic. His treatment plan will cost a whopping $125 billion and could face a lot of resistance from a divided Congress that cannot seem to agree on much.
President Biden faces a lot of skepticism from many addiction advocates due to his past roles in passing the 1986 anti-drug legislation and the 1994 crime bill that had a mandatory minimum prison sentence for drug offenders. This bill has been blamed for widening the gap in the justice system. Biden says that while he feels differently about much of that legislation from back then, he still opposes the legalization of drugs such as marijuana.
Biden’s History on Substance Abuse Issues
President Joe Biden has not formally announced his picks for his healthcare team while in office; his transition is loaded with healthcare officials. This includes one of Biden’s chief coronavirus advisers is a former Surgeon General named Vivek Murthy. Also surgeon general under Obama, Murthy issued the office’s first report on substance abuse and urged that it be dealt with as a healthcare issue and not a matter of law enforcement.
Biden has also talked bout Rahul Gupta, who is the former West Virginia public health commissioner to help lead the drug offices transition team. In the past, he has helped to identify populations that are at high risk for overdose and helped broaden access to naloxone, the opioid overdose antidote.
Recreate Life and Addiction Help
Nonetheless, no matter who the President may be, there is never a better time to get yourself free from the grips of drug addiction than right now. Here at Recreate Life Counseling, we use individualized treatment programs for each person to tailor to their specific needs. We offer partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient therapy in Boynton Beach, FL. Now is the time to get your life back on track. Let us help you do it!