New Polling Shows Broad Support for Expanding Addiction Treatment; Report Offers Policymakers a Roadmap for a More Effective National Drug and Alcohol Policy

Legal Action Center Issues Comprehensive Recommendations to Improve Health and Public safety, Save Lives and Resources

27 Jan, 2016, 11:51 ET from Legal Action Center

WASHINGTON, Jan. 27, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A survey commissioned by Legal Action Center (LAC) and released today finds strong support among Americans for expanding addiction treatment and making it a policy priority of the next president.  Highlights of the survey include:

  • A majority of Americans (57 percent) supports a presidential candidate who says additional investment is needed for more education, prevention and treatment of drug and alcohol addiction;
  • A majority of Americans (63 percent) also believes "we put too many non-violent drug offenders in prison instead of treating their addiction;" and
  • Most Americans (78 percent) believe "we need to treat drug and alcohol addiction more as a health problem and less as a criminal problem.

The survey was released in conjunction with a new report from Legal Action Center; The Roadmap for Promoting Health and Justice: A Smarter, More Effective National Drug and Alcohol Policy is a guide for policymakers who understand the urgent need to reshape the nation's drug and alcohol policies, in order to address addiction as a chronic disease that can be treated and prevented.

Developed by Legal Action Center, the only nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting for the civil rights of people with drug and alcohol histories, criminal records, and HIV/AIDS, the Roadmap provides a comprehensive and detailed set of recommendations for improving our national drug and alcohol policies to improve health and public safety and save lives and resources.

"An unusual bipartisan consensus is emerging – among Presidential candidates as well as federal, state and local policy makers from coast to coast – to promote serious reform of America's drug policies and criminal justice system," said Paul Samuels, LAC's President and Director.

"Policymakers and ordinary Americans recognize that prevention and treatment for drug and alcohol addiction works to decrease crime, improve family and community situations, lower health care costs and save lives," said Samuels.  "As we enter a presidential election year, our nation has an unprecedented opportunity to consider transforming its approach to people addicted to drugs and alcohol, shifting its primary focus from a criminal justice focus on punishment to a public health focus on prevention, treatment and recovery."

The Roadmap is available at www.lac.org/roadmap.  The nationwide online survey was conducted by PrimeGroup November 2-11, 2015 with a sample size of 1,066. 

About the Legal Action Center: The Legal Action Center is the only non-profit law and policy organization in the United States whose sole mission is to fight discrimination against people with histories of addiction, HIV/AIDS, or criminal records, and to advocate for sound public policies in these areas.

For four decades, LAC has worked to combat the stigma and prejudice that keep these individuals out of the mainstream of society. The Legal Action Center is committed to helping people reclaim their lives, maintain their dignity, and participate fully in society as productive, responsible citizens.

About this project: The map of state health information for criminal justice practitioners is funded through a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, and U.S. Department of Justice. Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse its content (including, without limitation, any of the information links to other websites provide).

For more information, visit http://www.lac.org/, or follow LAC on Twitter and Facebook.

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark O'Brien, (212)-243-1313, mobrien@lac.org

 

SOURCE Legal Action Center