American taxpayers would save more than $46 billion if drug addicts now in prison were instead treated, according to a study released Friday at a national convention of drug court professionals. Retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey, a former U.S. drug czar, and actress Melanie Griffith joined experts in calling on lawmakers to increase funding for such courts. “This is not a war on drugs,” McCaffrey said. “This is a problem for our families in America. In order to turn drugs around in this country, we’re going to have to treat those 1.5 million people who are addicted.” Griffith, a recovering alcohol and drug addict, said she believes drug courts are effective because they provide both support and accountability for abusers.

“I had a long struggle with addiction because I didn’t have that. And by the grace of God, I didn’t end up in prison,” Griffith said. “There are so many people, who with this kind of help, can lead beautiful lives.”

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