DPA is committed to ending the drug war’s assault on families. Families throughout the United States have experienced the devastating consequences of failed drug war policies. One in 28 children in this country have a parent in prison, in large part due to the mass incarceration of people convicted of drug law violations. Even parents who avoid criminal punishment risk losing custody of their children, regardless of whether their drug use is problematic or not. Ineffective drug education and student drug testing have chipped away at the bonds of trust between parents and children. We support policies that treat drug use as a health issue, not a criminal justice issue, and we believe that families should have privacy and autonomy when dealing with drugs and addiction.
Sen. David Vitter has recently introduced The Drug Free Families Act of 2011 (S. 83). This legislation would require all new applicants for TANF benefits, and all individuals currently receiving these benefits, to submit to drug testing. This proposed policy is a misguided and punitive waste of resources, and would place unnecessary financial burdens on taxpayers and state and federal budgets in order to enact an ineffective policy.
Children of the Drug War is a collection of original essays that investigates the impacts of the war on drugs on children, young people and their families.
The full book and each of its four sections are available for free download. It may also be read online.
The Global Commission, whose members include Kofi Annan and four former presidents, calls the drug war a failure and advocates a paradigm shift in global drug policy. The commission's bold recommendations include encouraging governments to experiment with legalization of drugs, particularly marijuana; putting an end to drug policies being driven by ideology and politics; and directing resources away from arresting and incarcerating so many people for drug law violations.
Collateral Costs: Incarceration's Effect on Economic Mobility is a collaborative effort between the Pew Charitable Trusts' Economic Mobility Project and its Public Safety Performance Project (PSPP). The report examines the impact of incarceration on the economic opportunity and mobility of former inmates and their families.
A Mother Speaks Out
On June 13, 1971, I became a mother when my first son was born. Five days later, President Nixon declared the "war on drugs." Little did I know then that this war would be waged against families like mine for the next four decades.
Legislators appreciate hearing from their constituents, and they are elected to represent our views. Always give your legislator your name, address, and telephone number so that they know you are one of their constituents. Be sure to include this information whether you visit in person, call, or write.
When you contact your legislators, a short sentence or two about why you personally support or oppose a certain proposal is fine.
Most importantly, always be courteous and clear when communicating with your legislators. Remember, legislators are people, too!
American Academy of Pediatrics
The AAP explains its opposition to involuntary drug testing of adolescents at school or at home, and encourages parents who are concerned that their child may be using drugs or alcohol to consult their child’s pediatrician rather than rely on school or home-based drug testing.
This policy statement outlines the American Academy of Pediatrics’ opposition to random student drug testing and its position that the appropriate response to the suspicion of drug abuse by a young person is the referral to a qualified health care professional for a comprehensive evaluation.
Every Life Matters
A young woman struggles to cope with the death of her father, who was infected with AIDS as a result of injection drug use.