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.
A sad consequence of the drug war's neglect of drug treatment programs is that many people who want help are unable to access it, and those who do are often limited to an abstinence-only, 12-step model that works for some, but not everyone.
Most of these treatment modalities fail to address the legal, financial, vocational, custodial, and psychosocial dimensions of life often adversely affected by problematic drug use, leaving the person seeking treatment empty-handed when it comes to addressing these issues.
Funding and research
The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) advocates for increased federal and state funding for drug treatment and research than can help determine which treatment models are the safest and most effective. We believe that judgment-free, individualized treatment should be available to people at all stages of the recovery spectrum.
We advocate for well-researched, proven treatment strategies, such as methadone and buprenorphine, and for prescription heroin assisted treatment and other treatment models that have been successful abroad but are not yet permitted in the United States.
Treatment instead of incarceration
DPA favors alternatives to incarceration for people with drug convictions and has supported several treatment-instead-of-incarceration ballot initiatives. No one should have to have an arrest or criminal record in order to get the health care they want.
We believe strongly that treatment is a health service and are committed to protecting drug treatment from being co-opted by the criminal justice system. Further, we believe that no one should be convicted of a crime for what they put into their bodies, absent harm to others.
While providing treatment to those who seek help is an essential aspect of smart, effective drug policy, mandating treatment for anyone caught using or possessing any illicit drug is counterproductive. We believe that distinguishing between problematic and non-problematic drug use is extremely important, and no one should be forced into drug treatment if they do not need or want drug treatment.
Latest Analysis: Drug Courts Have Not Demonstrated Cost Savings, Reduced Incarceration or Improved Public Safety
Washington, D.C. – At two briefings on Capitol Hill today, the Drug Policy Alliance released a groundbreaking new report, Drug Courts are Not the Answer: Toward a Health-Centered Approach to Drug Use, which finds that drug courts have not demonstrated cost savings, reduced incarceration, or improved public safety; leave many people worse off for trying; and have actually made the criminal justice system more punitive toward addiction – not less.
A New PATH is a non-profit advocacy organization of parents, concerned citizens, individuals in recovery, healthcare professionals and community leaders working together to educate the public, media and decision makers about the true nature of the disease of addiction, and to expand access to treatment services. We advocate to end discriminatory drug policies that serve as roadblocks to recovery.
H R T C is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing alternative treatment to people with drug and alcohol problems. The treatment, Harm Reduction Psychotherapy, is based on the belief that substance abuse develops in each individual from a unique interaction of biological, psychological, and social factors.
ASAM is a professional society representing close to 3,000 physicians dedicated to increasing access and improving quality of addiction treatment, educating physicians and the public, supporting research and prevention, and promoting the appropriate role of physicians in the care of patients with addictions.
The North American Opiate Medication Initiative (NAOMI)is a clinical trial that will test whether heroin-assisted therapy benefits people suffering from chronic opiate addictions who have not benefited from other treatments.
Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canada's premier funding agency for health research, and approved by Health Canada, the study is enrolled participants in Vancouver and Montreal
Since 1991, Join Together has supported community-based efforts to advance effective alcohol and drug policy, prevention, and treatment.
This volume includes a variety of perspectives on harm reduction approaches, together with an analysis of the concept's role within drug policies, both in Europe and beyond. Readers may not necessarily agree with all of the arguments made or the conclusiondrawn, but we hope it is perceived as a valuable contribution to the ongoing debate on how to respond to contemporary drug problems in Europe.
The International Centre for Science in Drug Policy (ICSDP) is an international network of scientists, academics, and health practitioners committed to improving the health and safety of communities and individuals affected by illicit drugs.
Youth R.I.S.E. (Resource. Information. Support. Education) is an international, youth-led network of young people committed to confronting the reality that young people today live in a world where drugs are more accessible on the street than the education and resources needed to reduce their harm.
The Chicago Recovery Alliance (CRA) is an ethnically diverse group composed of people living with HIV and drug use, working in addiction treatment, health care, education, law and assorted other areas. CRA is unique as an organization in that the community of individuals affected by HIV and drug use is primarily involved in consuming drugs and support around living with HIV. CRA is an action organization for those interested in directly serving, supporting, educating and advocating with others for reducing drug-related harms.