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Miss. non-profit releases report to help discuss the state’s war on drugs

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 9:39 PM CDT
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - A Mississippi-based non-profit, End It for Good, is working to end the stigma on drug use addiction.

We spoke with the organization about how it’s attempting to do that through open table conversations.

“The key question is, ‘What are we trying to achieve? Are we trying to punish? Or are we trying to restore life?,’” said End It for Good CEO Brett Montague.

The non-profit works to change the conversation about the war on drugs.

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.(End It for Good)

“Through various educational and advocacy programs that End It for Good has, we invite Mississippians across the spectrum to support approaches to drugs that prioritize life and ability to thrive,” said Montague.

It recently released a “drugs and crime” report utilizing data from several agencies, including contracted drug policy experts.

We’re told the report found drug use and overdose deaths have increased despite enforcement efforts.

“We noticed that there is a pattern of people who are in need of help being incarcerated instead of treated as a patient they’re being as criminal with undue, unnecessary incarcerations,” Montague said.

Organization officials say the report showcases how the federal drug war thrusts negative effects on Mississippians.

“This report kind of highlights how the federal drug war... imposes on states like Mississippi with high cost on the Mississippi taxpayer, with kind of disproportionately giving funds to drug enforcement over more help-centered approaches to drugs at institutions like the Mississippi Department of health and mental health,” said Montague.

End It for Good leaders say the conversation needs to shift from criminalizing drug usage to helping those who suffer from addiction.

“Even if our drug laws never change, this conversation has to come out in the open. If we can even just reduce the stigma of drug use, we can get people out of the shadows and help them see their value and usher in a new day where they can have their lives and livelihood and their family circumstances restored and rekindled,” said Montague.

End It for Good is holding a summit next Wednesday in Hattiesburg. For more information on how to register for the free event, click here.

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