Recovery can heal individuals and families, can it heal the country?

Recovery can heal individuals and families, can it heal the country?
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

While America reels from the stunning upset and Acclimates to saying "President Trump" uncertainty looms. The Truth is, good or bad, we don't know what a Trump led administration will do. With most candidates we can look at voting records and listen to rhetoric and look for patterns where words align with or depart from actions. Not so with Mr. Trump, we just don't empirically know much.

While addiction touches every family in America, our issue is still cast aside and devalued. Zika was well funded and covered by the media, addiction receives an anemic response even while more than 100 Americans daily overdose and die. What can we expect from Mr. Trump? He is a paradox and an enigma. While he rose on the political scene by inciting racism and making inflammatory comments, he heralds from Queens, one of the most diverse communities on the planet. NYC is his stomping ground and while he lives high above subway riders, he hasn't moved to a Texas mansion either. He dwells among the very people he condemns.

Recovery may be the most egalitarian system in America. The AA literature says "we are people who would not ordinarily mix" and while AA is only one path to recovery it is deeply embedded in Americana. If an ivy educated liberal suddenly found them-self in a rural American town and landed in an AA meeting run by Trump voters they would be welcomed, politics aside. That principal may be a starting point to heal America's raw open wound that needs to be stared down by a tough nurse to avoid infection.

We don't know very much about Trump's views on addiction and drug policy. He seems to have some understanding and has self disclosed losing a brother to alcoholism. He proudly says he doesn't drink. Is that insight or his typical boastful reporting? Before he was a candidate, Trump seemed to be an advocate for some pretty progressive drug policy, that shifted as a candidate where he because a staunch drug warrior. Apparently one of the goals of the infamous wall is to keep drugs on the southern side of the wall. He seems to know a wall won't really do much but certainly sells the idea that it well to his followers.

Looking at a fractured America, addiction could be a unifier. Every family in America has this problem, even if it's not a direct connection, the steak reality is felt at some level. If not in their family, it's in their community somewhere. America has responded poorly and most seem to know that. The Trump campaign kept saying people were afraid to admit the supports Trump. Maybe the same is true of drug policy, where people are afraid to say they know incarceration is ineffective.

Trump is a salesman, he might be the guy who could sell drug policy reform as a conservative issue. The drug war is not fiscally responsible, it is the ultimate big wasteful government. Current drug policy is a government over reach. Who is the government to tell an individual what they can put in their body? Th drug war is an all out assault on families. There is not a shred of Christian ethic when families are broken up because someone smoked marijuana. If Mr. Trump is sincere about reducing violence in the "inner city", call a truce on the drug war and admit, we all lost.

One of the very strange things about drug policy is that there is a very weak and faint voice from recovering people. We live drug free, why not ask us to weigh in? President after President has wanted to shift from incarceration to treatment and yet the top drug policy official is almost always a law enforcement official. That makes as much sense as appointing an oncologist to head an agency to fight a wave of bank robbery.

Hear us out President Trump, you can sell to your voters that by reforming drug policy you aren't being "soft on crime" , you're being a savvy businessman.

Support HuffPost

Popular in the Community