Today, I visited San Antonio, Texas, to discuss the Obama Administration’s emphasis on treatment and prevention as part of national efforts to reduce drug use and its consequences. During my stay, I stopped by Haven for Hope– a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming the lives of homeless men, women, and children by addressing the root causes of homelessness through education, job training, and behavioral health services.
As the Nation’s largest campus of its kind, Haven for Hope provides the care and resources that homeless Americans need to overcome substance abuse. I had the honor of touring the campus and discussing Haven for Hope’s success in helping substance users recover from the ravages of addiction.
The important work done at Haven for Hope underscores that we must treat America’s drug problem as a public health issue, not just a criminal justice one. Haven for Hope is a shining example of why it’s important to take this approach and to recognize that recovery is essential to tackling the country’s drug problem. Too many people suffering from addiction aren’t able to receive adequate treatment, so it’s refreshing to see programs and facilities focused on increasing access to treatment for people who need it most.
The 2012 National Drug Control Strategymarked a significant shift in the way we approach the drug problem, with an emphasis on treatment and recovery. To support this shift, the Obama Administration has committed more than $10 billion in FY 2012 for drug education programs and support for expanding access to drug treatment for people suffering from substance use disorders. As we move to put these plans into action and prepare the next Strategy, I look forward to working alongside Haven for Hope and other admirable organizations that are helping those burdened with substance use problems get the care and support they need.