Keep an eye on the BluesThe writer is superintendent of...


November 04, 1995

Keep an eye on the Blues

The writer is superintendent of the Maryland State Police.

Addiction not only problem

It is estimated that there are about 50,000 drug addicts in Baltimore.

How many of them have the overlooked problem of ''dual diagnosis''? In addition to their addiction they have a definable .. incapacitating mental illness such as depression or manic depression. That is a condition that no programs or doctors will treat.

Under such circumstances, addicts who go through the pain and expense of detoxification are found helpless in a state of extreme mental agitation. Within days they go back to heroin or ''speedballing'' because there is no entity that treats dual diagnosis.

In Baltimore, as elsewhere, we need psychiatrists who can take the mentally-ill addict from the first step through the door to a comfortable state.

It is a sad state of affairs when doctors can run ''for-profit'' clinics through a five-day detoxification program, then throw the patient away. Commonly, when the post-detox addict can afford to see a psychiatrist quickly, the doctor says ''I don't deal with addictions!''

This unavailability of treatment is one reason that 50 percent of addicts are left on the streets, according to one available study on the Internet. Their mental illness makes ''detox'' a health risk because of an already withered body. The dual-diagnosis problem is everyone's! Street addicts live in hell. When we get programs and doctors who can and will deal with ''dual diagnosis'' good things will happen.

Richard L. Frank


Whites faulted for extremism

The proposed settlement of the American Civil Liberties Union suit against city and federal officials is a very small step toward ending 60 years of housing segregation in Baltimore and the surrounding counties.

There is a profound irony in the juxtaposition of Representatives Ben Cardin's and Robert Ehrlich's and County Executive Dutch Ruppersberger's outraged cries against the settlement with the Million Man March, itself the object of intense white (and some black) concern and criticism.

Where do our public officials and our talking heads imagine the impetus for this march and the enormous appeal to many African-Americans of its leader, Minister Louis Farrakhan, are coming from?

For years, moderate, ''acceptable'' black leaders have called on this country to address our massive racial divide and its attendant social and economic consequences. We, in the persons of our elected representatives, have listened sporadically or not at all. Or, as in this case, have expressed ''outrage'' at a modest desegregation plan. Is it any wonder that we wake up to find African-Americans listening to the less moderate leaders among them?

Constance A. Nathanson

Hunt Valley

How to pay for city pols' raises

What a coincidence! Firehouses are closed and Mayor Kurt Schmoke and company are up for big raises. So what else is new?

Lois Day


Those not free better be brave

As a child, I learned America was the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Silly me. I assumed this meant we were one people, both free and brave.

Thanks to Newt Gingrich and his gang of merry pranksters, I now know I was wrong. Their budget teaches that we are, in fact, a nation of two groups -- those financially secure, who are meant to be free, and those, lacking such security, who need to be brave.

Stanley L. Rodbell


It's easy to buy votes in Annapolis

There has been much pro and con in the media lately concerning the proposed casino gambling for our state. Unfortunately, the big out-of-town interests have almost unlimited money to spend, and votes are easily bought and sold in Annapolis. The advantages of the casinos to the state (if any) are being greatly exaggerated and the con side is down-sized if mentioned at all.

Almost everyone I speak to is not in favor of any more gambling in our state, but the citizen voters do not have wealthy lobbyists on their side.

The only fair way it should be decided is to put the question on a referendum and let the voters decide, then abide by their decision. Not the legislators.

If it is left up to the legislature, The Sun should give adequate publicity on how each vote tallied so we will know what kind of representation we have in Annapolis.

Henry W. Seim Jr.


Put new phone digits last, not first

This message is addressed to the Maryland Public Service Commission and the people of Maryland and the rest of the nation.

New area codes are not needed.

Running out of phone lines in this age of electrons is a national problem. The solution, however, is not to add more area codes but to add more digits to our phone numbers.

When the phone system first started, we had five-digit phone numbers. Today, we have seven digits. Those two digits added 1,000 times the phone numbers available. Adding an area code only doubles the numbers after a long time.

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