Addiction as a Public Health Rather Than Criminal Justice Issue

"The Panel anxiously awaits the time when the disease of addiction is no longer treated as a criminal justice issue, but as a public health problem. Moreover, the Panel embraces the notion of a society that enables any individual with a substance abuse problem, regardless of criminal history, to receive treatment in a safe and respectful environment. The Panel hopes to create a climate in which people who are at risk for, suffering from, or in recovery from alcohol or other drug addiction are valued and treated with dignity."

Source: 

US Dept. of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, "Changing the Conversation: Improving Substance Abuse Treatment, The National Treatment Plan Initiative; Panel Reports, Public Hearings, and Participant Acknowledgements," (Washington, DC: SAMHSA, November 2000), p. 41.
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