The impact of drug addiction in the family is a subject presidential hopeful Jeb Bush can personally empathize with. According to Bush, he never expected to see his daughter Noelle in a jail cell. Noelle’s struggle with addiction impacted the family on both a private and public level. The former Governor of Florida described his daughter’s struggle with addiction as debilitating.
In 2002, Noelle’s battle with addiction was brought into the spotlight of the media after she was incarcerated for attempting to purchase anti-anxiety medication with a fake prescription. Although her father’s position as Governor of Florida at the time intensified the problem for everyone including Noelle, later that same year, she was again apprehended for possession of crack cocaine. Thankfully, Noelle’s struggle with addiction is behind her today, but the experience has made drug addiction an integral issue and an important platform on the campaign trail for Jeb Bush.
When it comes to drug addiction, no one is exempt. Bush speaks openly about his daughter’s battle with drugs and the heroin epidemic sweeping the country. He also has unveiled a drug control strategy that he promise to implement if he is elected president. His pledge to dramatically reduce drug abuse is motivated in part by what he describes as the “heartbreak” he and his family experienced as a result of Noelle’s addiction.
According to Bush, the challenge presented by drug addiction is complex and goes beyond a criminal or health care issue. In his multi-faceted drug control plan, Bush hope to prevent drug abuse and addiction by:
The stigma of addiction has long been a hindrance to recovery for many individuals. Scientific research has been successful in unveiling the real impact of what happens to people who use drugs and has gradually, at least in the medical community, shifted the image of the addict as being of weak or morally lacking. Unfortunately, this has not yet been able to shift the stigma of addiction in the general population. As such, Bush is appealing to Americans to start a new, more compassionate conversation with an emphasis on treatment rather than prison for those in addiction. Bush describes his appeal to discuss addiction without the stigma attached to it is as a “national calling.”
Bush however, is not alone in this quest to free Americans from the death and destruction of addiction. Drug addiction has become an emotionally charged issue for other candidates on the campaign trail such as Hilary Clinton. Based on estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drug overdose deaths has increased for at least eleven consecutive years across the nation. In New Hampshire alone, over 400 people died from a drug overdose in 2015, which more than doubled since 2013 for the state. All presidential candidates express deep concern about the drug epidemic and the lives being lost to addiction. As such, they have made it a part of their campaign to hold round table talks about the drug epidemic at local hospitals, at schools and in recovery centers as well as listening and sharing stories about addiction with voters.
The consensus for all presidential candidates appears to be that the current drug epidemic is an unacceptable situation that must be addressed no matter who wins the election. The general initiatives for change is centered around educating the young, expanding public awareness, shoring up America’s borders, shifting the image of an addict from criminal to patient, improving treatment and making it accessible to more people.
If your loved one is suffering from drug addiction, please call drug treatment centers to learn more about your options for rehabilitation. Addiction specialists are available to help you find the program that is most suitable.
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