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Where Does Your Presidential Candidate Stand On Addiction?

Where Does Your Presidential Candidate Stand On Addiction?


Drug use prevention and addiction treatment have become bipartisan issues, and with the 2016 Presidential campaign season underway, these topics remain some of the most debated issues along each candidate’s campaign trails. Here is and overview of where the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates stand on the topic of drug policy – including prevention, legalization of marijuana, addiction, and recovery. Hillary Clinton on Addiction

Hillary Clinton

“Through improved treatment, prevention, and training, we can end this quiet epidemic once and for all.”

  • Ensure that all first responders have access to naloxone, which can prevent opioid overdoses from becoming fatal
  • Require licensed prescribers to meet requirements for a minimum amount of training, and consult a prescription drug monitoring program before writing a prescription for controlled medications
  • States that put forth specific plans for confronting epidemic will be eligible to receive $4 of federal support for every $1 they commit.
  • Increase the Substance Use Prevention and Treatment BLock Grant
  • Ensure federal insurance parity laws are enforced
  • Re-evaluate Medicare and Medicaid payment practices
  • Remove obstacles to reimbursement and help integrate care for addiction into standard practice
  • Direct the attorney general to issue guidance on prioritizing treatment over imprisonment for nonviolent, low-level drug offenders

Bernie Sanders on Addiction

Bernie Sanders

“The United States’ current ‘war on drugs’ is a failed policy.”

  • Supports medical use of marijuana and the rights of states to determine its legality
  • Expand access to addiction treatment in public and private sector
  • Heroin is a nationwide epidemic that needs immediate attention
  • Addiction must be treated as a disease, not a crime

Ted Cruz on Addiction

Ted Cruz

“This is an absolute epidemic. We need leadership to solve it. Solving it has to occur at the state and local level with programs like AA, and counseling and churches and charities. But it also has to be securing the borders, because you have got Mexican cartels that are smuggling vast amounts of heroin into this country.”

  • Half sister Myriam died of what family believes to have been a drug overdose
  • Secure Mexican border to end flow of heroin into country
  • Lower minimum sentences
  • Give judges more flexibility in determining appropriate sentence based on unique facts and circumstances of each case

John Kasich on Addiction

John Kasich

“We’re leaving no one behind. Not the mentally ill, the drug addicted, the working poor.”

  • Crackdown on prescription drug use and illegal pill mills
  • Improve efforts to help those with addiction overcome it
  • Educate young people on the dangers of drug use
  • Help inmates overcome addiction while in prison

Donald Trump on Addiction

Donald Trump

“You have to take the profit away from these drug czars.”

  • In 1990, supported legalization of drugs and using tax revenue to fund education programs
  • Brother died from alcoholism
  • Reform mental health programs and institutions
  • Garner bipartisan support for reforms to mental health care nationally