Pubdate: Thu, 16 Dec 2010
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA)
Copyright: 2010 Leslie Hurtig
Author: Leslie Hurtig


I applaud Alfred Lubrano's recent article ("The drugs dilemma,"
Sunday) for its insight into the complex challenges associated with
breaking the stronghold of the drug trade and the cycle of addiction
in Kensington. One key barrier that the article fails to mention,
however, is the difficulty many face accessing quality substance-abuse
treatment. There are many reasons for this among substance abusers:
reluctance to take the first step to enter treatment; uncertainty
about how to navigate the treatment system; and limited treatment
options in the Kensington section of the city, particularly for
youths. Programs like New Pathways, which actively recruits drug users
on the streets to help them enroll in treatment and supports their
recovery when they return to their neighborhoods, can help address
these barriers.

Developing creative strategies to help connect individuals with
substance-abuse problems to treatment - often people with co-occurring
mental-health issues - must be a central component of any
comprehensive approach to cleaning up neighborhoods such as Kensington
and decreasing the pervasive presence of the drug trade.

Leslie Hurtig

Vice President of Behavioral Health Services

Public Health Management Corp.
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MAP posted-by: Jo-D