Pizza and Politics Discusses Drug Addiction

Posted: November 01, 2019 | Author: Tiago Rodrigues da Costa | Read Time: 2 minutes

Students participating in Pizza and PoliticsIn this week’s Pizza and Politics presented by the Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service at Southern Utah University, focused the discussion on “Should prescription drug addiction - or any drug addiction - be treated as a criminal issue or a public health issue?” With more cases of legalization and decriminalization of not only marijuana, but other types of drugs, talking about the pros and cons, solutions, and myths has become more important than ever. And like always, students had strong opinions about it.

When the topic was introduced to the room, and moderators asked students to respond by showing their hands, the room was unanimous: Students considered drugs a public health issue. However, throughout the presentation, students were divided on many subtopics like who’s to be blamed by the opioid epidemic? And is it pharmaceutical corporations or doctors? 

The conversation continued with a discussion of programs aimed to reverse the crises: the Needle Exchange Program (NEP), Supervised Consumption Services (SCS) and Inpatient Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation. In terms of the NEP and SCS programs, students were divided on if these two programs would really help drug addicts to recover, or contribute more to the drug crisis. In terms of the Inpatient Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation, students were divided on whether the government should subsidize programs and help people who are addicted, or if the responsibility belongs to those who are addicted.

As the focus was brought back to Utah, the question of whether the classification of legal and illegal drugs should stay at the state level or the federal level was discussed. Students agreed here that often, having different classifications in different states makes it hard not only for those who use recreational drugs but also for those who need medical drugs.

The Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service hosts Pizza & Politics every Wednesday at noon to discuss current political and social topics. Students at the Leavitt Center research, present, and moderate the discussions. These discussions are aimed to expose the student community to a variety of important issues and encourage them to share their own perspectives while learning the other sides as well. Free pizza is provided for all attending P&P. 

Next week’s Pizza and Politics will focus on media bias and will be presented by Savannah Robinson and Karoline Taylor. 

Tags: Leavitt Center

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