• New public attitudes and policies

    Editor’s note: This September, Audacious Ideas features a special month-long series in conjunction with National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. We’ve asked four individuals to share their ideas about addiction issues and the failed war on drugs. Pat Taylor is the first in our series. *** On Saturday September 12, over 70,000 Americans Rallied […]

  • City Council still has time to act

    Over the last 11 years, the Open Society Institute-Baltimore has worked hand-in-hand with the city to build a comprehensive public drug addiction treatment system.  Since opening our doors in 1998, we knew that addiction treatment had to be one of our chief concerns if we were to help revitalize Baltimore and improve the health and […]

  • Stop defending the indefensible

    Why is the Baltimore City Council more willing to spend taxpayer dollars to defend illegal laws that keep its citizens out of drug treatment than to invest in their recovery? They should stop defending a fifty-year old zoning law that shuts out the very health care services that so many citizens want and need. The […]

  • What are we waiting for?

    A few weeks ago, OSI announced the Public Safety Compact, a new initiative that will help 250 prisoners overcome their addictions. This is certainly a welcome step forward, but what has taken everyone so long? Everyone knows that it’s stupid and unreasonable to do the same thing over and over and expect different results, yet […]

  • Stopping the war on drugs

    More than two decades ago, the rush to enact federal mandatory minimum drug sentences was driven in part by the drug-related death of University of Maryland student Len Bias who had been a first round NBA draft pick of the Boston Celtics and was thought to have died from an overdose of crack cocaine. At […]

  • Treatment or incarceration? The costs of failure for Baltimore and beyond

    Maryland legislators are trying to decide how to close the billion dollar budget gap. The choices so far are–raise taxes or cut spending. Enough said about raising taxes. But a good place to start cutting spending is the $76 million a year Maryland spends imprisoning people convicted of low-level drug offenses. Not only would we […]

  • What if…? Consider the possibilities

    A September 2005 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) “National Summit on Recovery,” held in Washington DC, focused on accomplishing three specific goals: • Developing new ideas to transform policy, services and systems toward a recovery-oriented paradigm. • Articulating guiding principles and measures of recovery that can be used […]

  • More drug treatment for those who need it

    I’m a newcomer here, and certainly not an expert about Baltimore and the incidence of addiction to drugs and alcohol among its residents. I’m working on a national project to make drug treatment available to all who seek help. Baltimore’s drug treatment system actually serves as model for this project based on its progress made […]