Register to attend “Addressing the Overdose Epidemic: Substance Use Policy for the Biden Administration” on March 24th.
By Jennifer D. Oliva & Kelly K. Dineen
“America’s drug regime is a monstrous, incoherent mess.”
– Dr. Carl L. Hart, Drug Use for Grown-Ups: Chasing Liberty in the Land of Fear (2021)
By any measure, American drug policy is an ineffective and costly failure.
The U.S. drug policy regime’s defining quality is its persistent adherence to the same approaches in the face of overwhelming evidence that they are unsuccessful, including supply-side tactics, fear mongering, and misinformation dissemination. These policies are racist by design and their myriad, negative impacts are disproportionately borne by marginalized and stigmatized communities.
The “war on drugs” and its repeated loop of lost battles have earned the nation the highest incarceration rate in the world, fomented a number of serious health issues related to drug use, and fueled a drug overdose and suicide crisis. Our shape-shifting overdose crisis recently claimed the highest number of overdose deaths ever recorded during a twelve-month period in American history.