Obama and McCain on Addiction Issues

Now that the presidential nominees are clear, it’s time to take a look at where Barack Obama and John McCain stand on the issues. Those in the substance abuse treatment and recovery realm may have a reason to be hopeful when considering these candidates in November. According to William Cope Moyers, vice president of external affairs at Hazelden, he has “never been more hopeful that addiction treatment will begin to get the attention it deserves, because we at least have two candidates who are aware of the issue.”

Not necessarily sweeping praise, but positive none the less.

A feature news article by Bob Curley on JoinTogether.org takes a look at where Obama and McCain stand on addiction issues. At this point, we’ve probably heard more about both candidates own past issues with drugs or alcohol, Obama with his admitted drug use and McCain’s admitted past heavy drinking. The article notes that McCain’s family has a history of alcoholism and his wife, Cindy, is in recovery from an addiction to prescription drugs. Cindy McCain also heads a large Anheuser-Busch distributor in Arizona.

While neither candidate has really come out with any specific stance on addiction, treatment or prevention, they are certainly more versed on the issues than the current administration. Curley notes Obama’s pledge to combat methamphetamine in rural communities, his expansion of drug courts and recognition of the need to help parents talk to their kids about the dangers of drugs, for example, from his Blueprint for America.

Curley calls McCain’s interest in addiction issues more “indirect,” noting that much of his focus has been on regulating the tobacco industry. McCain only seems to address substance abuse and mental health issues directly when they affect military veterans.

What do you think? Read the full article and make your own opinion: “Obama and McCain: Where they Stand on Addiction Issues

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