The presidential election is just a few short days away and we will find out the new leader of our country. No matter what your politic side is, it is undoubtedly true that the opioid epidemic is sweeping through our country at an unprecedented pace. It’s only natural for it to be brought up for discussion throughout the election.

The Severity of The Opioid Epidemic

The truth is that it will take a LOT of time and persistence to change the pace and direction of the opioid epidemic. The epidemic arguably began 20 years ago, when doctors were urged to put an end to the pain problem in America by using non-addictive drugs. The problem was that pharmaceutical companies were falsely leading doctors to believe that drugs like Vicodin and Oxycontin weren’t addictive, which clearly couldn’t be further from the truth.

So, it has taken two decades to get to where we stand today. America is in a drug-ridden state and if nothing is done to change the ways of prescription medication and drug and alcohol abuse treatment, it’s hard to imagine where it may be in another twenty  years.

Turning the opioid epidemic around will be something like turning a huge tanker ship around. Slow and steady is necessary in order to achieve progress. The actions of the next president will truly be deciding where that ship’s next coordinates are located.

The Presidential Candidate Opinion on Opioid Drug Use In America

Both Clinton and Trump have discussed the opioid epidemic, though surprisingly little for what a large scale issue it is. They both agree something needs to be done, but their views on what are definitely different. Here is a brief overview.

Clinton’s View on Opioid Use

Hillary Clinton has a plan that is outlined on her website that is a $10 billion, 10-year plan focused on treating the epidemic as a public health issue. She has a five-part plan in place to tackle the issue through prevention, treatment, and addiction recovery. She wants to make sure that all first responders have Narcan available, and that treatment and rehabilitation is chosen over jail time for first-time, non-violent, low-level drug offenses.

Trump’s Opinion About the Drug Epidemic

Donald Trump hasn’t gone into as much detail as Clinton about how he intends on tackling the problem. When he does get into it, his approach is different. He believes in improving border control, strengthening the criminal justice system, but also improving access to treatment for addicts in recovery. He stands by his statement of building a wall on the Mexican border to help keep out dangerous drug cartels and drugs like heroin.

Two Different Approached, One Big Problem

Not enough has been said from either party about the opioid epidemic, but it is certain that something needs to be done. Both candidates are aware of the problem. All we can do right now is go out and vote, and see who ends up taking office in the next couple of weeks.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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