Battling Opioids on the Streets, the ER and City Hall (National Press Foundation)

Would we ever tell somebody who has had a heart attack that they need to wait three weeks for treatment? 

That’s one of the questions that Dr. Leana Wen, health commissioner for the city of Baltimore, asks as she tries to convince public health officials – and the public in general – to rethink their attitudes about addiction. 

“We know that treating addiction as a crime won’t work,” she said.

In a session with journalists at a National Press Foundation program, Wen described the efforts she has made in Baltimore to get a handle on that city’s drug problem.

To read the entire article, click here.

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The number of Baltimore children with lead poisoning fell 19 percent in 2017, even as more children were tested for exposure to the powerful neurotoxin.

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When I’ve asked experts about these approaches, it’s not that any of them are bad. It’s that they fall short. For instance, Leana Wen, the former health commissioner of Baltimore (and soon-to-be president of Planned Parenthood), said that the Support for Patients and Communities Act “is simply tinkering around the edges.”

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