Sept 2 (Reuters) â€“ Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has laid out a plan for fighting drug and alcohol addiction in the United States, including a new $7.5 billion federal fund to help states tackle a problem afflicting 23 million Americans.
In an opinion piece in the Manchester Union Leader, a New Hampshire newspaper, Clinton set out five goals including empowering communities to prevent drug use among teenagers and making addiction treatment available to every person needing it.
â€œTwenty-three million Americans suffer from addiction, but only 1 in 10 get treatment,â€ she wrote in the piece posted on the Union Leaderâ€™s website on Tuesday.
Clinton said the federal government â€œwill draw on a new $7.5 billion fund to help states meet their goalsâ€ in fighting what she called a â€œquiet epidemic.â€ She did not make clear how she would pay for the program.
Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination in the 2016 election, said she would â€œprioritize treatment over prison for low-level and nonviolent drug offenders, so we can end the era of mass incarceration.â€
The goals, she said, also include better training for healthcare workers to recognize substance-use disorders, and having all first responders carry naloxone, a drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. (Reporting by Mohammad Zargham in Washington; Editing by Will Dunham)