Heroin Takes Center Stage At Democratic Debate

Photo: Mic Smith / Associated Press.
When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders were asked a question about the war on drugs during Sunday evening's Democratic primary debate, the candidates got real about the stigma of mental illness.

Clinton tackled the question first; she said that her policy would center on treating addiction to drugs, such as heroin, as a health issue — rather than a crime. "The policing needs to change," Clinton said at the NBC News/YouTube debate.

Clinton also said the government would provide roughly $1 billion for states to deal with America's drug epidemic. "Lives are being lost," Clinton said. She proposed that police officers and firefighters be equipped with antidotes for heroin overdoses and be trained to administer them if necessary. Clinton emphasized that America's response to heroin and drug addiction should emphasize treatment and recovery.

Sanders supported Clinton's plan: "I agree with everything the secretary said." Sanders added that pharmaceutical companies should be responsible for the products they manufacture and be held accountable for the consequences of drug overdoses. Oxycontin and other prescription opiates have been a major contributor to the current drug addiction epidemic. Sanders said that the United States needs a "revolution" in the way it addresses mental health treatment.

It's rare for presidential candidates to agree completely on an issue, but some factors, like mental health, transcend political divides.
Advertisement

More from US News

The day after the debate, instead of shifting away from the issue, the GOP nominee doubled down on his weight-shaming comments. And on Friday, he took the ...
Election Day lasts just one day — a 24-hour culmination of the seemingly never-ending campaign season. But we’ll spend the next two, four, six years ...
Ebling has been by her friend's side through marriages, births, deaths — all the ups and downs of life. But she never expected her old playmate to be just ...
If the chaotic party politics of the 2016 election have left you feeling completely birdbrained, this video is for you. The Founding Fathers (presented ...
1. Major News: One person died in a Hoboken, NJ, train crash and more than 100 were injured. A commuter train crash on Thursday morning injured more ...
The Final Five are national treasures. They're basically a collection of perfect, perfectly happy humans. And who wouldn't be, especially after turning in ...
Throughout history, Americans have used activism as a tool to seek positive change in communities and in government. That's no different today. With ...
1. Here At Home: A teenager killed his father before opening fire at a school in South Carolina where he wounded two students and a teacher. ...
California passed a law Wednesday removing the state's 10-year statute of limitations for filing of child molestation and rape charges. Governor Jerry ...
Monday night was the personification of media bias and rigged politics
If you had to describe the current political climate in America, what word would you choose: volatile, toxic, or divisive? Perhaps all of the above. ...
Hillary Clinton has been a role model for our generation for years, and now she’s laying out a master class in taking on workplace sexism
1. Major News: A bill to prevent the government from shutting down and to fund the fight against Zika was stalled in the Senate. With a 45-55 vote, the...
But take heart. There won’t be a President Trump. Not if I and millions of other women in this country have anything to say about it