57 aspirants for the state Legislature completed the NCADD-NJ questionnaire. 33 of those were elected on Nov. 7, 2017. Of the 33: 18 are Democrats, while 15 are Republicans. The answers reflect a deeper understanding of the addiction problem, along with a more refined approach to solving it.
* 32 view addiction as an illness, rather than a bad choice.
* A large majority favor dedicating the monies collected via the Alcohol Tax toward drug and alcohol treatment. 12 would support raising the Alcohol Tax and earmarking the additional proceeds to addiction therapy.
* A significant majority support the expanded utilization of overdose reversal drugs.
* 27 want to see an expanded presence throughout the state of recovery community centers.
* 32 wish to enhance current drug, alcohol and mental health programs in jails and prisons.
* 29 would vote for continued reforms to more easily allow for criminal record expungement for those in recovery.
* 30 favor alternatives to incarceration for non-violent drug offenders.
* 9 support marijuana legalization and regulation
17 endorse marijuana de-criminalization
10 want to keep the present marijuana laws unchanged
This relatively recent sophisticated thinking about substance misuse is due in no small part, to the efforts of people such as NCADD-NJ’s Advocate Leaders who have given a voice and face to the issue for policy makers. The Advocates will now be sought out for practical and substantive ways to deal with this epidemic by decision makers. The volunteer Advocate Leaders, along with their supporting organization (NCADD-NJ) are more than willing and capable of supplying this needed expertise.