For modern Americans, mental illness and substance abuse are societal issues most prefer to lock very far away in the back of their minds and pretend the problem doesn't exist, which accomplishes absolutely nothing but reinforcing the very stigmas that trap mentally ill individuals in a neverending cycle of poverty and potential for self-harm. For far too long, alcoholics and addicts have continually been stigmatized and shamed by society, ostracized and abandoned, dramatically and even fatally reinforcing the very addictive behaviors society wishes to correct.

We have created our problems with the failed drug war, and our Trump Republican government wants to do the same failed policy we have spent over a trillion dollars enforcing yet we are failing to see results. We give addicts and the mentally ill lifetime criminal convictions, arrest them, place them in cages without affordable treatment, then put them back on the street and wonder why the problem doesn't resolve itself and addiction continues.

Public issues and criminalization

Because a public health issue can never effectively become treated through criminalization. No matter how much Jeff Sessions believes otherwise, due to his all-consuming and hopeless addiction to white nationalism and racial profiling.

Jeff Sessions is considered by some to be a national disgrace and to be utterly unfit for his position as Attorney General. He thinks black people and Mexicans deal and consume drugs far more than white people, most assuredly a false and dangerous assumption, which has cost African Americans their freedoms, liberties, and equal rights.

The ugly fact that Jeff Sessions lost a previous Attorney General position, due to actually believing in the civility and humanity of the Ku Klux Klan outside of some members smoking marijuana, while discarding the KKK's blatant genocides, hate crimes solidifies Sessions powerful delusions that will ensure more racial profiling and more shattered lives with an explosion of disproportionate arrests.

If Trump allows Sessions to have his way, we will decimate over 50 years of progressive drug reform focusing on treatment rather than incarceration. The 12 Step Program is far from the only effective treatment for substance abuse, but our broken mental healthcare systems continually lie to the mentally ill and tell them that it is, nine times out of 10. SMART Recovery, Moderation Management, CBT, TFT, Meditation, Yoga, Regular Exercise and an improved diet, Rational Recovery, psychotherapy, and even psychedelic drugs such as Psilocybin Mushrooms, Cannabis, LSD, and Ibogaine, used with the proper set and therapeutic setting, may hold crucial elements necessary to fight the epidemic.

Tough love does not work for mental health

The abhorrent American reliance on "tough love" approaches to the mentally ill, is the same action as setting a blind person on fire, cutting off their legs, then cursing at them for being unable to stand or walk without setting ablaze the expensive furnishings. It is a self-destructive, self-fulfilling prophecy, counter-intuitive, profoundly heartless, and ensures many more deaths. Most alcoholics, addicts and other victims of mental disturbances that impair daily functioning have suffered life-shattering traumas that make them turn to anesthetizing themselves from reality. No matter how long these patients go without drugs, their rates of consumption cannot become altered or eliminated.

That is until the underlying condition behind a person's disconnect or trauma from past reality affecting their present mental health becomes treated; or the basic mental health symptoms such as clinical depression, schizophrenia, or PTSD become effectively tackled through medicine, a compassionate non-judgmental approach, flexibility, a medicinal philosophy of unconditional acceptance and love towards patients struggling the most, combined with self-empowering rehabilitation. Due to Trump and Sessions underlying and ingrained prejudices, such an approach will never occur in modern America unless we resist, and fight back against this totalitarian tyranny hard.

Trump and Sessions are utterly blind to reality. Nancy Regan's "Just Say No" campaign is a delusional failure.

The hardcore drug addicts released from jail with criminal felonies, most for simple possession may never work regular jobs again - forever marked with a criminal record. Often these users are able to find dope in maximum security prisons as easily as on the streets. Therefore they become stuck, unable to turn their lives around with a criminal record that traps them in perpetual poverty, unless they hustle illicit narcotics, stuck in the endless cycle, ensuring more addiction.

We cannot remotely repeat prohibition again, expecting any different results. This is the definition of insanity. Just the same as when the alcoholic decides to drink again after a clean period even if they quit for a particular reason.

We rationalize this war as being good for society, but this war has made mental illness and addictions both worse through enforcing and promoting harmful stigmas that chase the most advanced patients away from treatment and flexibility, and into privatized prison industrial complexes, asylums, and a lifetime of minimum wage with no hope. To ask such individuals why they would seek intoxication with these ugly and futile conditions is remarkably short-sighted, and dangerously ignorant.

Trump will fund military by stripping Affordable Care

The opposite of addiction is never sobriety, but a healthy connection to others who give us love, happiness, passion, purpose, and most importantly in recovery, self-worth.

Trump intends to strengthen our military by defunding the affordable care act, stripping away already ineffective underfunded rehabilitation lacking modern medicine or alternative treatments outside of the 12 Step Program which does not work for everyone, and for some, makes the problem worse by reinforcing beliefs of learned helplessness and addictive thinking. Instead, the Trump and Sessions repeals aim for an even more destructive and dark alternative, more mandatory minimum sentences, more lives shattered, underfunded and overcrowded rehabilitation centers with no medical or technological advances to assist in detox or recovery, and therefore, they are crafting policies that ensure perpetually more addiction, never less.

And our children will pay for this blasphemy with their lives if we do not fight against it. Jesus Christ said we most clothe and feed the naked, Trump and Sessions suggest we whip, ostracize, ignore, and torture them instead so the 1 percent can enjoy more luxury cocktails and rounds of polo and golf. And the evangelicals fully support the Trump administration for what good reason? If I were part of a Christian sect, I would take every action to ensure my faith and religion remain as far separated from Donald Trump's philosophy as humanly possible.