Will Obama's New Opioid Proposal Simply Continue the Failed War on Drugs?

The president's plan emphasizes treatment and overdose prevention, but is still beholden to the criminalization of drug users.

Photo Credit: Photogrape / Shutterstock.com

In 2014, a record number of Americans died from drug overdoses, with the highest rates seen in West Virginia, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Kentucky and Ohio.

Many states reported even higher death tolls in 2015. We speak with journalist Maia Szalavitz and Michael Collins of the Drug Policy Alliance about Obama’s proposal.

"I think the best thing we can say about the proposal is it’s two steps forward and one step back," Collins says. "There is a lot of positives in the announcement—emphasis on harm reduction, treatment, overdose prevention—but at the same time the Obama administration is still beholden to the criminalization of drug users."

Watch: Democracy Now! interview with Michael Collins, deputy director of national affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance.

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