Pubdate: Mon, 27 Oct 2014
Source: Baltimore Sun (MD)
Copyright: 2014 The Baltimore Sun Company
Author: Joseph B. McNeely
Page: 14


The Central Baltimore Partnership, a federation of more than 60 
organizations dedicated to the renaissance of Central Baltimore, 
commends Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake for forming a task force that 
will spend the next nine months studying heroin and substance abuse 
in Baltimore while developing new ideas about how the city can better 
coordinate treatment options ("Mayor appoints task force to study 
heroin, substance abuse," Oct. 14).

For the past year and a half, a CBP task force has been considering 
similar issues in the Central Baltimore area. Known as the Saturation 
of Metropolitan Service Agencies (SMSA) task force, it was formed to 
address the high concentration of methadone clinics, drug treatment 
facilities and other social services providers located in the 
neighborhoods of Old Goucher, Charles North and Charles Village.

Our aim is to ameliorate the impact on quality-of-life issues through 
"good neighbor agreements" with local social services providers and 
to prevent further saturation. It is important to note that while we 
have opposed making Central Baltimore, or any other area of the city, 
a treatment magnet, the task force strongly supports offering 
services to neighborhood residents near where they live, which will 
improve treatment outcomes while strengthening communities.

We feel that a citywide approach, where treatment facilities were 
more evenly distributed throughout Baltimore, could be a great help 
in both reducing the impact on saturated areas, and providing better 
services to those in need. We look forward to giving voice to our 
perspective on the mayor's new task force.

Joseph B. McNeely, Baltimore The writer is executive director of the 
Central Baltimore Partnership.
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