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Jeff Sessions insists people pushing for addiction treatment have a 'misunderstanding' of how dangerous drugs are

Attorney General Jeff Sessions believes that Americans affected by the opioid crisis need addiction treatment. He just thinks arresting and imprisoning them is more effective.

In an interview with Time, Sessions dug in his heels on his long-held opinion that harsh incarceration policies are the ultimate motivator to prevent everything from drug use to violent crime. The attorney general believes that focusing on addiction treatment rather than penalties is "dangerous," writes Time, and that treatment is often ineffective compared to the threat of a prison sentence.

Sessions and President Trump have both called for the death penalty for some drug dealers and say previous administrations didn't sufficiently emphasize the perils of drug use.

"The extraordinary surge in addiction and drug death is a product of a popular misunderstanding of the dangers of drugs," he told Time. "Because all too often, all we get in the media is how anybody who's against drugs is goofy, and we just ought to chill out."

The Trump administration plans to change that "misunderstanding" by conducting a major ad campaign online and on TV, painting a frightening image of drug use in order to combat the opioid epidemic, which was declared a public health emergency in October. Sessions' own plan, beyond the scare-tactic commercials, is to move past the idea that treatment is the best way to keep addiction from ballooning out of control. The "whole mentality that there’s another solution other than incarceration," says Sessions, simply won't do.

Read more at Time.