GrAS was originally created as an archive and forum for essays, reports and other academic writings. These were produced while a student at Northern Arizona University from 1997 through 2002. I graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2000 with a Political Science major. The semester prior, NAU offered a full tuition waiver to their Graduate program in “Visions of Good and Sustainable Societies”. The program offered the opportunity for liberal studies into environmental, social, and political issues. In 2007, I began posting many of those writings, as well as news and essays on my blog, Sustainably Green.
THE MILLENIAL HEALTH CARE CRISIS
When I began my studies at the turn of the century, medical insurance and health care availability and cost containment were primary concerns among voters. In addition, the regulations surrounding addiction treatment were outdated and did not reflect current science or practice. There was also a call for parity in the insurance industry for mental health and psychiatric treatment, including addiction recovery. The millennial national election brought the issues to the forefront of the campaign. Health care availability was not only a conversation about how to fix the system. It was also a controversial topic of contention on addiction treatment.
THE DRUG ADDICTION TREATMENT ACT OF 2000
In researching my thesis, I became involved with three activist organizations lobbying for new legislation:
- ARM (Advocates for Recovery through Medicine)
- NAMA (National Alliance of Methadone Advocates)
- NAMA Recovery (National Alliance of Medicated Assisted Recovery).
These groups were supporting new federal guideline regulations for outpatient opiate addiction treatment. Authored by Senators Hatch, Biden, and Levin, the Drug Addition Treatment Act of 2000 (DATA 2000) increased the access to addiction recovery. The bill failed to make it out of committee on it’s first submission. The next year, DATA 2000 was passed with much celebration. Hope was born for further changes to the harsh drug control policies of the twentieth century.
DEFINING A GOOD AND SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY
One year after elections, the 9/11 Al-Qaida attack on the World Trade Center changed the course of the America’s agenda. The election defining issues became moot points to be argued again at a later date. My studies considered that “good and sustainable society” cannot exist without “good and sustainable people”. This was supported by issues of inadequate addiction treatment, and ineffective, punitive drug legislation. Therefore, I concluded that a good and sustainable society necessarily requires health care. More importantly, there must be equal and affordable access to health care that must necessarily include drug addiction treatment. Additionally, it is generally agreed that significant changes must be made to the U.S. federal drug laws.