Jeff Sessions Reveals Plans To Combat U.S. Drug Problem
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has revealed his solutions to America’s drug epidemic: prevention, education and targeting drug gangs.
Sessions surprised middle and high school students in New Hampshire with a surprise visit to an opioid awareness summit. Drawing on his experience as a federal prosecutor in the 1980s, Sessions told the audience of young people that heroin and other drug use had been high in the 1980s, but that crime fell and addiction fell as a result of education and prevention services.
“We can turn the tide against drugs and addiction again in America just like we did previously,” he told the crowd. “We have proven that education and telling people the truth about drugs and addiction will result in better choices. Drug use will fall. Lives will be saved.”
However, statistics from that period seem to demonstrate otherwise. In the 1980s and 1990s, the most popular campaigns were Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign and the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) curriculum in schools. Both those programs were shown to not only be ineffective, but to potentially increase drug use among teens. In addition, the anti-drug campaign’s use of fear-mongering to support the criminalization of drug use has disproportionately affected minorities.
These same criminalization laws—which have been classified by the UN to be policy failures at all levels—are the ones that Sessions promised New Hampshire youth that the Trump administration would pursue.
“Less money will be going into cartels and the drugs gangs, weakening them … Criminal enforcement is essential to stopping the transnational organizations which ship drugs into our country in huge amounts and to stop the thugs and gangs who use violence and extortion to move their products,” he said.
Sessions empathized with families whose loved ones struggle with addiction. “For many, addiction can be a death sentence. I’ve seen families spend all their saving and retirement money on treatment programs to try to help their children just to see sometimes those programs fail,” he said. “It is so heartbreaking.”