PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES AND THE DRUG EPIDEMIC WHERE DO THEY STAND
Released on: March 20, 2008, 10:26 am
Press Release Author: Arbor Books
Press Release Summary: PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES AND THE DRUG EPIDEMIC: WHERE DO THEY STAND?
Press Release Body: (OAK RIDGE, NJ)-The presidential campaign is in full swing, and while you'll hear Clinton, Obama and McCain talking endlessly about Iraq, healthcare, abortion and illegal immigration, does anyone really know where they stand on the "war on drugs"?
"It's not something they really focus on," says Stephen Della Valle, author of the new recovery memoir Rising Above the Influence, "and that's a shame. Like typical politicians, they keep talking about the 'hot button' issues while one of the biggest problems facing America today goes largely undiscussed."
Though each of the candidates has their own ideas and opinions on drug and alcohol abuse in America, they don't often get the opportunity to talk about them in public venues. "People are understandably more interested in what a potential new president will do about the troops in Iraq, and what their feelings are on the country's current immigration policies," says Mr. Della Valle. "But addiction is a topic that can't be ignored any longer. They need to talk about it-and we the people need to listen."
Statements that the presidential candidates have made on drug abuse prevention-and punishment-include:
--Giving first-time nonviolent offenders the opportunity to serve their time in rehab instead of prison (Obama)
--Increasing penalties for selling drugs, including death sentences for kingpins and international traffickers (McCain)
-- Strengthening current laws on non-controlled substances including inhalants and prescription medications (McCain)
--Instituting "drug courts" wherein low-level offenders who agree to stay clean and submit to drug tests every week can stay out of the system (Clinton)
--Reduce recidivism by offering job training and substance abuse counseling to ex-offenders (Obama)
Currently, 260,000 Americans are incarcerated in state prisons due to nonviolent drug charges. On top of that, 85,000 Americans die from alcohol-related problems every year-and another 17,000 from illicit drug use. "It's time for a politician to step up and shine a spotlight on the ever-evolving epidemic of drug and alcohol abuse in the US," Mr. Della Valle says in light of these statistics, "and do something to help prevent it."
Stephen Della Valle is president of the board of directors at Turning Point rehabilitation center in Verona, New Jersey. Currently celebrating twenty years of sobriety, he lives in Oak Ridge, New Jersey, with his wife, Donna. He has three children.
Rising Above the Influence is available now (ISBN: 0-9801776-0-X; softcover; Oak Ridge Press) on Amazon.com, Borders.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and at fine bookstores everywhere.
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