With November steadily approaching, there are many who would like see the conversation about addiction stay alive. Earlier in the year there were a number of presidential candidates who spoke about the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic at various primaries. The opioid epidemic was a major talking point during the New Hampshire primary. While one of the smallest states in the nation, it has been devastated by both opioid overdose deaths and lack of resources available to treat people battling opioid addiction.
Unfortunately, after the New Hampshire primary the conversation about opioid addiction waned. With eight months to go before the polls, addiction advocacy groups and elected officials are determined to keep substance abuse a major focus point during the remainder of the race, The Wall Street Journal reports. In a nation ravaged by opioid addiction, it is crucial that presidential candidates outline their addiction policy recommendations.
“The breadth of the problem is demanding that candidates for president put it on their front burner,” said Republican Rep. Hal Rogers of Kentucky, who launched Operation Unite, which organized the National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit. “We need a national program, a campaign if you will, that comprehensively deals with the problem.”
Forums are being held in primary and battleground states, where advocates are urging presidential candidates to lay out proactive plans that echo their expressions of compassion, according to the article. Events have been held in:
- New Hampshire
- West Virginia
President Barack Obama attended the National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit last week, and laid out his administration’s plan to tackle the crisis. At the summit, the President emphasized the importance of addressing this epidemic, he said:
“When you look at the staggering statistics in terms of lives lost, productivity impacted, cost to communities—most importantly, cost to families—from this epidemic of opioid abuse, it has to be something that is right up there at the top of our radar screen.”