Can Addicts Finally Force the War on Drugs to End?

by Maia Szalavitz

But now a group called Unite to Face Addiction is planning a massive rally in Washington, DC, to attack stigma and call for change. On Sunday, October 4, big names like Steven Tyler, Joe Walsh, Jason Isbell of the Drive-By Truckers, and Sheryl Crow will perform. Speakers will include former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, former baseball player Darryl Strawberry, author William Cope Moyers and current “drug czar” Michael Botticelli, who is in recovery himself…

But while there’s general agreement about what not to do, the movement will ultimately face a difficult battle over its agenda and how, exactly, to address drug addiction without waging “war.”

Too late. The war just keeps getting bigger and bigger, now including pain patients and really anyone who is prescribed an opioid.

Spearheaded by Greg Williams, a 32-year-old filmmaker who kicked OxyContin and other drug addictions 14 years ago, the organization has what he says is a “multimillion-dollar” budget. Over 650 different addiction-related groups are sending members. Among the biggest donors are the Conrad Hilton Foundation and Marriott. “We have [around] 100 different major sources of funding, meaning $10,000 or more,” he tells VICE…

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