When last we heard from Gen. Barry McCaffrey, the retired four-star was raising serious doubts about stability in Iraq and the Bush Administration’s handling of that war.
Today McCaffrey was in Lakewood to speak at an anniversary celebration for a local drug treatment center and to sound the alarm about prescription drug abuse.
The former head of U.S. Southern Command and later President Clinton’s drug czar from 1996 to 2000, McCaffrey is currently an adjunct professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He’s also a senior adviser for CRC Health Group, which runs a national web of behavior treatment facilities including Tacoma Treatment Solutions in Lakewood. The center celebrated five years in business Monday.
McCaffrey used the words “the new heroin” to describe OxyContin and other frequently used prescription drug opiates. According to the Washington State Attorney General, drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death in Washington; prescription drug abuse has helped push that number beyond car crash fatalities.
McCaffrey said drug treatment is essential to reduce crime, stabilize jobs and families, and restore lives for millions of users.