For Immediate Release
Drug Policy Alliance Statement: State of the Union Addresses Opioids, Prison Reform
President Trump’s State of the Union remarks embrace discredited policies proven to worsen mass incarceration and the overdose crisis.
WASHINGTON - The following is a statement from Grant Smith, deputy director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, in response to tonight’s State of the Union remarks on the opioid crisis:
“President Trump repeatedly claims that his administration is committed to ending the opioid overdose crisis but missed a critical opportunity tonight to ask Congress to ramp up critically needed opioid treatment and services that reduce drug-related harm. Trump instead signaled that he intends to continue escalating the war on drugs. Though he mentioned providing treatment to those in need, Trump strongly emphasized getting ‘tougher on pushers and dealers’ and connected increased overdose fatalities to immigration policy. Supply side tactics have never worked. Escalating the war on drugs by scapegoating immigrants and pushing for increased drug arrests will only exacerbate the crisis by diverting scarce resources away from evidence-based public health interventions that have actually been proven to reduce the harms of problematic drug use, including overdose. It is surreal that Trump would call for prison reform and an escalation of the war on drugs in the same speech.”
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DPA Network is the nation's leading organization working to end the war on drugs. We envision new drug policies based on science, compassion, health and human rights and a just society in which the fears, prejudices and punitive prohibitions of today are no more.