No Accident: Deadly Greed of Pharmaceutical Companies Drives the Heroin Epidemic

Alex Lawson Executive director, Social Security Works

In October 2015, residents of New Hampshire ranked drug abuse as the most important issue in the 2016 presidential campaign. They ranked it as more important than jobs and the economy.

Politicians are listening and this has become a topic in the 2016 elections. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont (one of the hardest hit states) has stated that addiction is “a disease, not a criminal activity” and called for a radical change in our country’s approach to the epidemic. Hillary Clinton has pledged to spend $10 billion to combat drug addiction, with much of it focused on federal-state partnerships for treatment programs. On the Republican side, Jeb Bush has released a comprehensive drug policy plan and he and the other candidates have made a compassionate approach towards addiction a part of their rhetoric.

No one can ignore the epidemic that is raging across the country. The death toll from heroin and opioid overdose has grown at a staggering rate in the last 15 years, as illustrated in a Wall Street Journal graph.

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