Pubdate: Fri, 12 May 2000 Date: 05/12/2000 Source: Baltimore Sun (MD) Author: Eric Sterling Authors: Eric Sterling Referenced: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v00/n616/a09.html 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 deliver. 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, Washington Note: The writer is president of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation.