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Rivera Schatz supports Vargas Vidot’s bills to address drug addiction

By on January 23, 2017

SAN JUAN – Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz said he will endorse any initiative from independent Sen. José Vargas Vidot that addresses addiction to controlled substances and aims to provide healthy treatment to those in need.

“I completely agree with Vargas Vidot’s initiatives, totally. We have talked and he will present legislation with the goal to be as fair and effective as we can be in helping those who somehow fell into drug addiction,” the senate president said in a public confirmation hearing.

Independent senator José Vargas Vidot (Cindy Burgos/CB)

Independent senator José Vargas Vidot (Cindy Burgos/CB)

Vargas Vidot explained to Caribbean Business that the main bill he will file within the next few months to address this population will be the National Drug Plan, an “encompassing” bill that aims to integrate preventive measures and interagency collaboration to tackle addiction to controlled substances.

For this reason, the founder of Community Initiative, an organization created two decades ago to educate HIV/AIDS patients about alternative treatment options, already began meetings with several agency directors to move the conversation along on the plan and designate a “formal link” to dedicate themselves fully to the future implementation of the bill.

See also: Vargas Vidot to preside Senate commission on issues “he is passionate about”

The independent senator held a meeting with Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez and she accepted to review the Board of Free Speech and to keep formal ties with the senator’s office and stay updated with the National Drug Plan.

He also met with Sports & Recreation Secretary Andrés Waldemar Volmar and informed him of the agency’s importance in the prevention part of the plan.

“If we have to touch the Constitution, we will,” affirmed Vargas Vidot, who supports Gov. Ricardo Rosselló’s idea to raise healthcare to a constitutional scale, and acknowledges that Rivera Schatz’s support doesn’t necessarily mean it will be ultimately approved in the Senate.

The Health, Education, Treasury and Family departments are also involved in Vargas Vidot’s plan.

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