Drug law enforcement efforts receive ample funding each year while drug treatment options remain shamefully underfunded. Many people who seek help for their problematic drug use are unable to access treatment, encountering insurance barriers, months-long wait lists, or programs that don't meet their needs. Far too many people are only able to access drug treatment as a result of an arrest or criminal conviction. DPA advocates expanding drug treatment access to meet need, as well as broadening the definition of drug treatment to include models of care that incorporate harm reduction principles and prioritize health, safety, and improving quality of life over strict abstinence. We are changing the national dialogue around treatment by raising awareness about proven drug treatment models, like heroin assisted treatment, that have been researched and employed successfully abroad but are still not available in the United States. Through these efforts, we are laying the foundation for more diverse and effective drug treatment options.
This report is intended to help California state and county officials understand the positive impact of the historic Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act of 2000 on California’s correctional system, drug treatment centers, and state budget over its first four years. This report also introduces readers to some inspiring true stories of how Prop 36 has helped tens of thousands of people turn their lives around.
This report lays out the fundamentals of an effective national strategy for reducing the problems associated with both methamphetamine misuse and misguided U.S. methamphetamine policies. It presents policymakers with a diverse range of evidence-based policy proposals that seek to save lives, reduce wasteful government spending, and empower communities. The “four pillars” of an effective national methamphetamine strategy are prevention, treatment, policing and harm reduction.
Commissioned by the Drug Policy Alliance
This report examines the plight of returning veterans who struggle with incarceration and psychological wounds of war such as addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder – and suggests reforms that could improve the health and preserve the freedom of American soldiers returning from war zones and transitioning back to civilian life. Roughly 30 percent of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan report symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury, depression, mental illness or other cognitive disability.