The Democratic National Convention concluded last Friday, and the Republican National Convention starts in earnest tonight in St. Paul (after being delayed a day by Hurricane Gustav). Conventions provide both parties with a unique chance to define themselves--entirely on their own terms--for a national audience. What will they have to say about treatment and recovery?
One of the highlights of both conventions will be the official adoption of the 2008 party platforms. Far more than in past years, both the Republicans and Democrats embraced the 21st century and used the Internet to receive platform input from grassroots organizations and even individuals--they even accepted video submissions!
The Dems adopted their platform--"Renewing America's Promise"--last week at the DNC convention in Denver. Some notable excerpts:
- "We will finally achieve long-overdue mental health and addiction treatment parity."
- "Chronic-care and behavioral health management should be assured for all Americans who require care coordination. This includes assistance for those recovering from the traumatic life altering injuries and illnesses as well as those with mental health and substance use disorders. We should promote additional tobacco and substance abuse prevention."
- "We must help state, local and tribal law enforcement work together to combat and prevent drug crime and drug and alcohol abuse, which are a blight on our communities. We will restore funding for the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program and expand the use of drug courts and rehabilitation programs for first-time, non-violent drug offenders."
The GOP just recently released its draft platform, which will be voted on during the Republican National Convention this week in Minnesota. The key quotes:
- "There must be adequate counseling when veterans return home - for them and their families. They should have ongoing professional care ... We recognize the need for more mental health professionals who can give the highest quality treatment to our veterans."
- "School-based mental health programs should not include the use of psychotropic drugs."
- "The human toll of drug addiction and abuse hits all segments of American society. It is an international problem as well, with most of the narcotics in this country coming from beyond our borders. We will continue the fight against producers, traffickers, and distributors of illegal substances and support the work of those who help individuals struggling with addiction. We endorse state and local initiatives, such as Drug Courts, that are trying new approaches to curbing drug abuse and diverting first-time offenders to rehabilitation."
- "Decentralized decision-making in the place of official controls empowers individuals and groups to tackle social problems in partnership with government. Bureaucracy is no longer a credible approach to helping those in need. This is especially true in light of alternatives such as faith-based organizations, which tend to have a greater degree of success than others in dealing with problems such as substance abuse and domestic violence. To accomplish their missions, those groups must be able to rely upon people who share their faith; their hiring must not be subjected to government regulation and mandates."
What do you think?