Pubdate: Fri, 12 May 2000
Date: 05/12/2000
Source: Baltimore Sun (MD)
Author: Eric Sterling
Authors: Eric Sterling

Dan Morhaim has the right idea. Indeed, using hospitals to treat drug
addiction was part of the recommendation of the Mayor's Working Group
on Drug Policy Reform (submitted to Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke in Nov.
1993) that all primary care providers be encouraged to provide
substance abuse treatment.

Hospital-based treatment was also an explicit recommendation of the
Jan. 1995 "Report of the Grand Jury of Baltimore City," a panel
charged with investigating the city's drug problem. These
recommendations, which could save Maryland billions of dollars, have
not been acted upon, because of the vicious stereotyping of addicts
and a lack of political integrity. Drug addicts are stereotyped as
terrible people because they are criminal. But most addicts suffer
terribly and treating them as law-breakers interferes with our ability
to provide humane treatment.

National drug policy leaders talk about drug treatment, but fail to

U.S. drug czar Gen. Barry McCaffrey fights for more money for the
Pentagon for Colombia, not for the kind of treatment Dr. Morhaim
argued for so well.

Eric E. Sterling,

Note: The writer is president of the Criminal
Justice Policy Foundation.