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Gilmore Analysis: Focus on Prevention, Including Pain Management for Veterans

February 9, 2016

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Governor Jim Gilmore speaking at Addiction Policy Forum at podium

Governor Jim Gilmore (R-VA) attended the Addiction Policy Forum’s New Hampshire forum on January 5, 2016, and drew upon his experience as a Governor, Attorney General, prosecutor, defense council and Army veteran. In his remarks, Governor Gilmore noted the importance of prevention, law enforcement and treatment, including an emphasis on veterans’ needs.


“It all starts with the family. It all starts with getting to those kids at a very early age,” said Governor Gilmore regarding prevention. He called upon parents to communicate their experiences with other parents: “That’s the place where I think that parents who have had this type of tragedy and this type of human experience need to be talking to other families too, particularly when their children or when their friends’ children are little and say, ‘This has been my experience and it’s very imperative that you pass this on to the little kids in your family.’”

Governor Gilmore touched upon the impact addiction has not just on individuals with the disease, but also the toll it takes on families, saying “It becomes a suffering not only for the young person as they’re coming along, but for the families as well.” Many families are not aware of the best prevention methods and how to properly discuss addiction within their homes.


As a veteran of the United States Army, and the only veteran running for President, Governor Gilmore discussed the importance of addressing veterans with addiction, saying, “I have great feeling about the concerns that veterans are facing and suffering out there. And many of them have pain, pain from their military wounds, pain from simple age. And they get prescribed a drug, the drugs to control the pain, and frequently, it goes off into the issues of heroin and drug addiction.” Veterans, like many, lack adequate access to treatment and information on how to properly manage their pain.

Law Enforcement

Governor Gilmore was passionate in regard to how law enforcement should respond to individuals who are involved in dealing drugs. “Now this is a very dangerous crossover when you move from being a victim, from being a person who is addicted to drugs, to a person who becomes a seller of drugs,” adding that as a former prosecutor, attorney general and defense council, “I have no tolerance for people who sell drugs.”

Regarding drug dealers, Governor Gilmore stated: “People who sell drugs are profiting commercially, one way or the other, no matter how they intend to use the money, on the destruction of their fellow human beings.” The Governor pointed out that “The problem [that needs to be] fixed on the southern border is drug dealers getting drugs across the border in order to poison the youth of the United States of America[JC1] ,” and the country needs to respond accordingly in order to prevent a “lost generation[JC2] .”  

Governor Gilmore concluded his remarks with support for the use of naloxone, saying “I’d love to see Narcon save another life. I’m happy with all of that.” However, the Governor stated that naloxone is only one part of the overall problem: “We have to go to the issues about opportunities for young people, the family support that we give them, and the chance to really solve the underlying problems that we’re facing here.”


Topics: Events

Casey Elliott

VP, Communications and Public Relations Casey Elliott has been working on nonprofit legislation and grassroots advocacy for over six years. Originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, Casey joined the Addiction Policy Forum in 2015 to work on an issue close to her, and her family's heart -- addiction.