Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New Drug Czar

With the new nomination of Seattle Police Chief R. Gil Kerlikowske for drug czar, we're finally seeing a move to put treatment ahead of prison. FINALLY! This may mean we'll start to make progress actually getting addicts and alcoholics help instead of simply putting them in jail and not actually rehabilitating them. By incorporating treatment, we'll be able to provide some options for these struggling people, instead of simply putting them in jail.

"The success of our efforts to reduce the flow of drugs is largely dependent on our ability to reduce demand for them," Kerlikowske said at a ceremony. "Our nation's drug problem is one of human suffering, and as a police officer but also in my own family, I have experienced the effects that drugs can have."

Kerlikowske's stepson has had problems with drugs and alcohol in the recent years, so he understands the situation families go through. I think that's invaluable knowledge for a person in charge of drug prevention in this country; without empathy, it's hard to make good decisions around how we treat this disease.

Here's a video introducing Kerlikowske:

Hopefully we can make some more roads for people to get well. This is a step in the right direction.

Here's something funny. Thanks to Eliza for this!

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1 comment:

  1. Hey M.A.F

    Though this choice is better than anything we've had before, given the fact that Dr. Tom McLeallan was one of the early-named nominees for this job, I can't say I'm excited.

    Dr. McLellan would have been a non law-enforcement choice who has talked about addiction being a chronic medical disease for decades.

    I guess we'll just have to wait and see!