UVU’s Conference on Addiction was held Feb. 22 in the Student Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The conference covered topics from prescription drug abuse to pornography to gambling.
The opening keynote address was given by Alema Harrington, the host of “Jazz Game Night” and the anchor of BYU football pre-game show “Countdown to Kickoff.” Harrington gave his personal story of going “from rock bottom to rock solid,” and introduced the acronym that helped him with recovery, H.O.P.E.: humility, open-mindedness, patience and enthusiasm.
The luncheon keynote address was given by John T. Carnevale in the Grande Ballroom. Canevale’s address focused on the direction the United States drug policy is taking and the experience he had working under four drug administrations in Washington D.C.
“At least decriminalization [of marijuana] has a lot more regulatory constraints around it,” Carnevale said. “[However] I’d rather start with neither.”
Carnevale also talked about the danger America is in since Obama downgraded the position of “Drug Czar” from a cabinet-level to a sub-cabinet position. He pointed out some of the effects this decision has had on the nation already, like shifting the focus of the topic from the government to those in favor of decriminalization.
He said that out of all the administrations in the past century, Nixon’s administration had the best ideas when it came to drug policy. This is because Nixon’s administration stressed the importance of treatment opposed to incarceration.
“A jail cell might cost you $25,000 a year, treatment may be only $5000,” Carnevale said. “After incarceration they will still need treatment.”