Rand Paul Says Employed People Don’t Have Time for Heroin

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Senator Rand Paul and Hillary Clinton don’t have much in common, but they’ve found some common ground on the issue of drug addiction. Several months ago, Paul and Senator Edward Markey introduced the Recovery Enhancement for Addiction Act, a bill that would expand medication-assisted treatment for opioid addicts. On Wednesday, Clinton unveiled a $10 billion plan to increase treatment options, and like Paul, she called for ending the limits on the number of opioid addicts doctors can treat with medications like buprenorphine and methadone. The issue comes up frequently on the campaign trail in New Hampshire, where the number of people admitted to state-funded treatment programs for heroin use increased 90 percent in the last decade.

Speaking in New Hampshire on Wednesday, Paul suggested another more unconventional solution to the heroin epidemic, and Clinton might not be onboard with this one. “People always come up to me and say, ‘We got heroin problems and all these other problems.’ You know what? If you work all day long, you don’t have time to do heroin,” Paul said. The remark was part of a larger proposal for requiring that people receiving government benefits work, with only a few rare exceptions. “We need to attach work to everything. I don’t think any able-bodied person in America should get a penny unless they work. No handouts, no gifts, no welfare. Everything should have work,” Paul said. As CNN noted, New Hampshire’s unemployment rate of 3.7 percent is actually one of the lowest in the country, so the facts might not support Paul’s theory.