TO SAVE HUMANITY
DO YOU REALLY THINK WE ARE GOING TO WIN THE DRUG WAR???
THE DREAM AND THE REALITY
compiled by Dee Finney
|DREAM - 10-27-06 - I was in a small store, similar to a small
roadside store. It seemed to be run by Japanese people.
The Japanese female clerk had been working for many hours and need to take a break. She picked up a round snack cake in a package and walked away with it to eat it.
I noticed then that there was a lot of empty spaces on the shelves which I told to an American woman who was standing nearby who seemed to be in charge. So she told an American man to fill up the empty spaces with fancy Christmas wrapped gifts to sell.
I then went into another room where an old Japanese man lay on a high bed. It seemed he was probably near death.
Then a Japanese doctor came in and lay out some small cutting instruments (scalpels) on the edge of the bed and six needles embedded with opium. It was immediately apparent the doctor was going to inject the old man with the opium needles and then filet the man with the scalpel knives he had laid out.
So I asked him if that was his plan and he said it was, so I slipped the needles and the knives back into the case, snapped the case shut and then picked up the case and swung it so it hit the Japanese doctor in the head with it.
The case was made of thin leather but it had heavy instruments in it and it went 'thunk' against the Japanese doctor's head.
I expected the Japanese doctor to defend himself, but he didn't. He realized his fault against the old man and he just stood there and took his punishment.
So I hit him in the head again and again, including in the nose and the eyes until he was bloody and blind.
I asked the doctor if he would be permanently blind and he said, "Yes!" and yet still stood there quietly while I beat him the head with his own instrument case until I was sure that he was blind.
I woke up feeling quite distressed at my own violence against the doctor to stop him from using the opium on his patient.
|OPIUM TO HEROIN:
Smack, china white, horse, black tar . . . all slang names for heroin. We are often told what happens to our bodies and our minds if we use this drug, but less commonly discussed is how the byproduct of a simple flower is converted into one of the most addictive drugs known to man. Also, not discussed much is how this drug makes its way from far-off growing areas to the United States. The abuse of heroin-whether by inhalation, ingestion, or injection-is the last step in a process of many, and it is those preceding steps that we will discuss. Opium poppyfields in the northern Shan State of Burma. Flowering Opium Poppy Mexican Black Tar Heroin Heroin #4, also known as Smack, China White, and Horse.
Heroin is derived
from raw opium gum, which is produced only by the opium poppy plant,
although other varieties of poppy exist. The California, Flanders, and
Oriental poppy are three types grown domestically. Poppy—both the
opium-producing and non-opium-producing varieties—can be found in many
different climates all over the world. Opium poppy has been grown in Asia
for many years, and more recently has been cultivated in Latin America.
About 60 percent of the world’s opium is produced in the remote parts of
Southeast Asia, especially in the aptly named Golden Triangle, which
includes parts of Burma, Laos, and Thailand. Other primary growers include
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Colombia, and Mexico.
Opium was long used medically in the Middle East, India and China. Opium
was introduced into Japan along with Chinese herbal medicine. Since the
1400s it was used there as a pain killer and there were no legal
restrictions on its cultivation, possession or use. In China non-medical
use of opium became popular from around the middle of the 17th century.
Opium was mixed with tobacco and smoked in pipes, often in so called opium
dens. Addicts would get so attached to the drug that they would rather go
without food than the drug, if they didn't have money for both. In some
parts of Southern China and amongst overseas Chinese in South East Asia
more than one tenth of the population were habitual opium users, make the
addiction almost as common as tobacco addiction is today. Non-medical use
of opium was banned in China in 1729.
Rise of drug trade threat to Afghanistan's security By Gregg Zoroya and Donna Leinwand,
SAYAD, Afghanistan — After decades of occupation and conflict, this nation is finally embracing democracy as returns from Afghanistan's first presidential election point to interim leader Hamid Karzai as the victor. But a competing power structure no Afghan voted for is lurking just off the political stage: a deeply rooted and ever-expanding opium industry.
Afghanistan is at once the world's newest democracy and its largest producer of heroin. This year the country had a record opium crop. The narcotic feeds 95% of Europe's addiction and generates an estimated $30 billion in revenue. Most comes from street sales outside Afghanistan.
But even the $2.5 billion that stays in Afghanistan amounts to a third of its economy. The money corrupts government officials, who tolerate trafficking, and finances warlords and terror groups like the Taliban who encourage cultivation and elicit protection money from smuggler.
National and international leaders say an infant democracy and a narco-economy cannot co-exist here. One must gain leverage of the other.
The country has made huge progress on the political side," says Antonio Maria Costa, director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna. "On the narcotics front, I would not only say there has been no progress, but a worsening of the situation."
Doug Wankel, a former Drug Enforcement Administration official who is point man for the U.S. counternarcotics initiative at the American Embassy in Kabul, says the opium industry is "financing terrorism. It's financing subversive activities. It's financing warlordism. ... And if it's a threat to the government of Afghanistan, it's a direct threat to the national security interests of the United States."
Final U.N. figures on this year's opium harvest will be out early next month. But officials like Robert Charles, U.S. assistant secretary of State for international narcotics and law enforcement affairs, predict a record opium poppy cultivation covering a cumulative area just less than 500 square miles — about the size of the city of Los Angeles.
Before anything can be done, the nation must select a new leader. By Tuesday, results from the Oct. 9 vote showed Karzai had 55.5% of the votes, 39 points ahead of his closest rival. An official announcement declaring Karzai the winner is expected later this week.
Costa, Wankel, Charles and others say that the president must move quickly to cleanse the government of drug-corrupted provincial governors and central government Cabinet ministers to begin reversing the drug's grip on Afghan government.
He needs to begin the process of wringing out any narcotic influence at any levels in order to be able to go forward," says Charles, whose office already is training Afghan police, border patrol officers, judges and prosecutors necessary to carry out a drug crackdown.
There is a growing sense of urgency within a U.S. administration eager to avoid any tarnish on what is otherwise a foreign-policy success story. "Amazing, isn't it?" President Bush exclaimed of the Afghan election at an Oct. 9 Iowa campaign stop. "Freedom is beautiful."
Andrew Natsios, head of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which is developing an alternative livelihood program to discourage Afghanistan farmers from growing poppies, says, "The president is quite concerned about this and has given us instructions to move this into high gear."
'Because we need the money'
Nowhere is the evidence of a rising drug tide more evident than among the dirt-poor, subsistence farmers of the small village of Sayad, 10 miles north of a sprawling U.S. military base at Bagram outside Kabul. Farmers tilling the arid fields and living in the mud-walled homes say they have lived for generations off the tomatoes, cotton, wheat, rice and corn grown on tiny parcels of land.
Until now. Last spring, the village was visited by men from Nangarhar Province, southeast of here astride the trade route from Kabul to Islamabad, Pakistan. The men came with poppy seeds and a promise to pay 10,000 Afghanis - worth $225 to $250 - for each kilogram or 2.2 pounds, of raw, harvested opium.
Mahrwouf, 20, who like many Afghans, goes by one name, says he and most of the other farmers took up the offer. On his five acres, Mahrwouf harvested just under 9 pounds of opium this year. He earned nearly $1,000, more money than he's ever seen. It paid off the debt from his wedding six months ago. "The villagers are very poor people, so they decided to plant the poppy," he says. "We'll do it again. Because we need the money."
In an agrarian nation where per-capita income is $186 a year, 16% of the roads are paved, 12% of the people have access to a sanitation system and barely two out of 1,000 have use of a telephone, that kind of cash crop is irresistible to the estimated 264,000 farmers.
Afghan Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani, a former World Bank official who spent 20 years in the USA, has for more than a year expressed concern that his country could tumble into a "narco-mafia state" where real power emanates from a group of drug kingpins, rather than a duly elected central government.
"Opium, unfortunately, is the ideal crop for a drought-stricken country and for a country where labor-intensive work is the demand," Ghani says. "It's a deeply threatening phenomenon."
He says the massive turnout in the election gives him hope that a leader with a popular mandate can move against a rising drug tide. The challenges include:
• Taking on warlords governing poppy producing provinces, such as Helmand and Nangarhar. Karzai has demonstrated a willingness to do this. Most recently, he replaced longtime-warlord Ismail Khan as governor of Herat and deployed U.S.-trained Afghan national army troops to provide security.
• Arresting drug kingpins, some of whom have sizable militias. Charles says there are six to 12 top Afghan smugglers who must be targeted. He identifies two: Haji Juma Khan, who has links with the Taliban, and former Taliban money supplier Haji Bashir Noorzai, who is tied to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda terror network. According to House International Relations Committee testimony this year, Noorzai smuggles 4,400 lbs. of heroin out of the Kandahar region to al-Qaeda operatives in Pakistan every eight weeks.
• Destroying drug labs and refineries. Thomas O'Connell, assistant secretary of Defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, has testified before Congress that the U.S. government, through various means including satellites, can pinpoint labs and refineries. Afghans just need the manpower to go after them.
• Instituting an alternative-livelihood program that goes beyond merely encouraging the growing of alternative crops. Rural development programs, education and even non-farm employment opportunities would need to be offered, according to a September study by the World Bank. This would require massive international funding, Ghani says.
The last step is crucial. According to the World Bank study, opium's grip on the Afghan economy, with its weak government and lack of security, is unprecedented because of the nation's reliance on drug revenue. So suffocating is the illicit industry here that if an internationally supported eradication and interdiction program was immediately successful, the economy would slip into a recession.
"Time is always our enemy," says Charles, who warns that the drug industry is becoming even more deeply entrenched in Afghan economy and society.
Under the December 2001 Bonn peace agreement that laid out a nation-building plan for Afghanistan, the British agreed to take the lead on counternarcotics, the Germans on training police and the Italians on building a judicial system.
The United States, tasked with building an Afghan national army, has provided the largest security force: 18,000 U.S. troops to pursue remnants of the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
But the other countries are not moving fast enough on their commitments, says Wankel, the Kabul-based counternarcotics coordinator. So the United States has stepped in with money and resources to push all three areas.
"They don't seem to have the same sense of urgency," Wankel says of the coalition partners. "Where we see it's not moving at the ... level or the speed we think, we're going to step in and we're going to work with them to help them get it to the level and to the speed which we think it needs."
He adds, "We really believe that within two years, we've got to see the pendulum swing."
Signs of growing sophistication
For now, the pendulum is moving in the wrong direction, according to the World Bank. Since the demise of the Taliban, the flowering plant has spread from the top-producing poppy provinces to 28 of the nation's 32 provinces. Poppy cultivation now employs an estimated 2 million Afghans, who can earn about $7 a day, more than two times the average scale for unskilled Afghan labor.
The opium they produce earns a farmer 57 times as much as wheat, the next most profitable crop. But it has had an insidious effect on the poorest planters. Farm prices for poppy have declined as production has increased. Many farmers, who borrowed to pay for staples to get them through the winter, are falling into debt. Rural credit lines for farmers would be another important facet of an alternative livelihood program.
Among the reasons officials feel a sense of urgency is that the drug industry here is not yet an organized, price-controlling cartel as with Colombia and cocaine. But the system is showing new signs of sophistication. In the past, most heroin was processed in neighboring countries along the smuggling route to Europe. Now, it's processed here.
Eradication efforts have had mixed results. A 2002 British-led initiative to destroy fields and compensate the farmers and an effort in 2003 to encourage local governors to destroy poppy crops failed. The compensation program only encouraged other farmers, eager for government compensation, to grow poppies. And local governors used their eradication efforts to punish enemies.
With British and U.S. assistance, there was limited success this year with interdiction and eradication by newly organized central government forces. Most notably, a British-trained 150-man commando-style unit known as the Afghan Special Narcotics Force in the past six months has destroyed 50 tons of opiates, 32 processing labs and made 20 arrests. The unit, also called Force 333, reports directly to Karzai and Interior Minister Ali Ahmad Jalali, and uses U.S. transport helicopters and pilots to transport them on missions.
The United States, meanwhile, is paying Afghan laborers $10 a day to chop down poppy plants. Under this program, about 2,000 acres have been eradicated.
To offset the common practice of arrested drug dealers bribing their way to freedom, the United States will begin training a core Afghan group of 10 prosecutors, 10 police investigators and five judges to act as a special task force to prosecute high-profile drug smugglers.
The unit, Wankel says, should be up and running by March. It will work out of offices in a refurbished section of Pol-e-Charki Prison outside Kabul. Wankel says the new program could cost the United States $300 million to $400 million in the next few years.
Bill Rammell, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, who oversees British efforts in Afghanistan, says his nation is spending $150-$200 million on counternarcotics there.
"We do have the plans and the strategy in place to meet our targets and begin to reverse, I would hope, the tide by this time next year," Rammell says.
But Mahrwouf and other Afghan farmers who have limited choices and almost no enforcement see only opium in their future. "If the Americans would give me a job at Bagram air base," he says with a grin. "I would stop growing it."
Contributing: Zoroya reported in Afghanistan, Leinwand reported in Washington.
Free needles no solution
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
BY RONALD L. RICE
The quality of life in New Jersey has been negatively affected by the rising gang crisis. Once viewed as an urban problem, gangs are taking over suburban, and now even rural, communities. The drug market is fueling the gangs and it's evident that gangs are becoming hungry for more power over the drug trade. As drug use and drug trafficking continue, the gangs are becoming stronger, more organized and increasingly violent.
Gang members aren't just killing members of rival gangs. Innocent children fall victim every day to gang-related crime. Gangs are bringing more guns into our state to fight for drug turf, and the victims are those in the community who can no longer go safely outside. Even during the day, senior citizens are afraid to walk to their neighborhood stores because of the violence on the streets. Children no longer feel safe when they walk to school, and working families have to barricade themselves inside their homes, hoping to avoid the gunfire outside their windows.
In order to stop the gangs, we need to stop the drugs. We need to reclaim our streets from the gangs by stopping the movement of guns and drugs into New Jersey, providing alternatives to joining gangs, and getting drug users off drugs for good.
Needle-exchange programs will not help the citizens of our state. Needle exchange does nothing to stop drug abuse or clean up our streets. A program that provides access to syringes says that we give up on the people of New Jersey and would rather hand out the tools to use drugs, than the tools people can use to better themselves and their communities.
I oppose the idea of handing out free needles to those on drugs, because it sends the wrong message. I feel we need to focus our resources on treatment -- not free needles. Some think that needles may help slow the spread of diseases, but free needles provide an excuse for drug users to put off facing the harsh truth that they need to stop abusing drugs. Free needles will allow gangs to continue to murder in the name of increasing their power in the drug market. Free needles will increase the number of homicides, suicides and overdoses. Free needles keep residents prisoners in their own homes, especially those in urban areas.
Even those who favor needle exchange in New Jersey agree about the need for a proven method to get people off drugs and reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS is treatment. I have been fighting hard for years to get funding for drug treatment. I have been pushing for the establishment of regional long-term care facilities and outpatient substance abuse treatment programs that would meet the needs of those in New Jersey who are living with HIV/AIDS. I will continue to work to get the resources that are needed to get people off drugs and back on track because I understand the pain and suffering that those on drugs go through every day.
I don't understand why we can approve millions of dollars for stem-cell research without knowing what the outcome of that research will be. We know that drug treatment works, yet we have only one residential long-term care HIV/AIDS treatment facility. I understand why we approved about $200 million for mental-health patients for residential treatment and other help they need, but I do not understand why some legislators would deny the same type of assistance for those with HIV/AIDS.
I am the sponsor of S-445, a bill to create at least three long-term care facilities and three outpatient substance-abuse treatment programs. The facilities would be located in the northern, central and southern areas of the state. Treatment facilities would provide on-site mental-health services; substance-abuse treatment and counseling; physician, dental and social work services; speech/language pathology assistance and literacy classes.
My bill also calls for similar outpatient treatment programs. It's very sad that state government wants to provide free needles in order to address the health-care problems where the majority of the victims are African-Americans, Latinos and women. With more needles on the streets, we are keeping drug users junkies for the rest of their lives and allowing gang members to continue to wage deadly wars in our communities.
Minorities and women are people too. They want to be off drugs-- not on drugs. They want to have homes -- not be homeless. They want to have jobs -- not be jobless. The bottom line is that they want to be an asset to their families and their communities. The question is: Why are some legislators opposed to this reality?Sen. Ronald L. Rice is a Democrat who represents to 28th District. He also is a member of the New Jersey Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.
Malaysia fights looming AIDS epidemic
By Liau Y-Sing
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 25, 2006 (Reuters) - Ex-convict Jonah Chan is a casualty of Malaysia's losing battle against AIDS.In 1984, he was jailed for three years for robbery. He came out a drug addict and is now infected with the AIDS virus.
"I contracted HIV by injecting drugs. I shared needles," said 41-year-old Chan who has been in and out of a home for reforming drug addicts and convicts in Kuala Lumpur for the past 15 years."Drugs were cheaper in prison because there were a lot of big pushers," he explained, sitting in the living room of an old double-storey brick house he shares with 23 other residents.
Malaysia, a conservative, mainly Muslim country, has some of the world's toughest anti-drugs laws. But the HIV virus is spreading rapidly due to illegal drug use and a lack of sex education, raising fears of an epidemic.Delivering a loud wake-up call to the government, the World Health Organisation warned last year that Malaysia was on the brink of an HIV epidemic.
Until recently, Malaysia refused to adopt policies proven successful elsewhere -- including in fellow Muslim countries Iran and Pakistan -- such as providing clean syringes to drug addicts.At the start of 2006, HIV cases in Malaysia totalled 70,559 in a population of about 26 million, while 10,663 patients had full-blown AIDS, official data showed.
The numbers are much lower than Thailand which has 560,000 HIV patients, but Malaysian health officials are worried by the exponential rise in HIV cases.In 2005, new AIDS cases in Malaysia totalled 1,221 compared with 233 in 1995.
By contrast, neighbouring Thailand has more than halved the number of new HIV infections over the past decade, thanks to aggressive promotion of condom use among sex workers."For HIV, the trend has been always upward in Malaysia and we're getting very worried," Malaysian Health Minister Chua Soi Lek, who was appointed to the post in 2004, said in an interview. "People are in a state of denial," he added. FREE CONDOMS, NEEDLES
Only last year did the government start handing out free condoms and needles -- a move it had earlier opposed on grounds that it promoted free sex and rampant drug usage.It now plans to spend 500 million ringgit ($136 million) on programmes to combat AIDS, including needle distribution.
HIV is most commonly spread in Malaysia by drug users, with male AIDS patients outnumbering females by about 10 to 1.About 60 percent of those believed to have HIV were Malays -- the largest and most religiously conservative of Malaysia's ethnic groups. Most of them were unemployed.
AIDS activist groups blame inadequate enforcement of drug laws and a lack of sex education for the rapid rise in cases."The reality is we're losing the war," said Pax Tan, a leader of a Christian group involved in combating HIV and drug use.
The government is starting to fight back.HIV education will soon be taught during the national service programme for youths, Chua said, after surveys showed a rise in unprotected sex and widespread ignorance about HIV among youth.
Government data showed that about a quarter of AIDS cases from 1986 to 2005 involved those between 13 to 29 years of age."With the funding promised by the government, we are very confident that we'll be able to see a plateau in the rate of increase, maybe by 2010 or 2009," Chua said.
SEX AND DRUGSDespite Malaysia's growing affluence and western trappings, the country remains outwardly conservative on sex.
Kuala Lumpur -- which started in the mid-19th century as a tin settlement with brothels, gambling booths and opium dens -- is packed with clubs brimming with drugs and alcohol but is also a place where kissing and hugging are forbidden in public parks.With no sex education at schools, some youths believe that HIV can be transmitted by mosquitoes, fleas or bedbugs.
Religious leaders are deeply opposed to the distribution of free needles and condoms."(It) will encourage people to have free sex. We must address the root of the problem," said Ahmad Awang, a spokesman at the Parti Islam se-Malaysia (PAS), the country's largest Islamic opposition party.
Instead he suggested tightening government controls on entertainment outlets and night-time curfews for youths.Wong Kim Kong, of the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship Malaysia, believes traditional values may stop the spread of AIDS rather than free condoms and needles. "Abstinence is the most important habit that we need to develop," he said. ($1=3.6700 ringgit)
Slow start for needle exchange
Controversial program designed to limit the spread of AIDs
Posted Saturday, October 7, 2006
A van soon will cruise through Wilmington's toughest neighborhoods, stopping to give free needles to drug addicts carrying state-issued blue-and-gold ID cards.
The five-year pilot program, passed by the state Legislature in June, is designed to slow the spread of AIDS. It will cost more than $300,000 in the first year and is expected to start in February.
It will operate only in Wilmington.
The lagtime between the program's passage and its implementation was designed to give officials time to answer the many murky legal questions involved in providing fresh needles to people with an illegal habit. City police remain leery of the program and concerned about possible ramifications.
"I deal with all the collateral damage," Wilmington police Chief Michael Szczerba said at a meeting last week of a committee set up to guide the program through its launch.
The delayed startup also is meant to help educational outreach efforts aimed at police and residents, many of whom stridently oppose the program, and addicts, who live underground lives and are wary of coming to the van.
Such efforts are key to the program's success, said Basha Closic, a drug prevention specialist for Brandywine Counseling, the group hired by the state to run the needle-exchange program.
"We have been trying for 10 years to get this law passed," she said. "Before the van rolls out, we want to be sure we do the advance work right."
Addicts will come to the van to sign up for the program. Once signed up, participants will hand in one dirty needle in exchange for a new, sterile needle. HIV testing will be offered through the van, as will treatment opportunities for HIV management, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, and counseling.
In 2004, Delaware had the nation's sixth-highest AIDS infection rate. Through 2004, 48 percent of the state's AIDS patients were intravenous drug users or people who had sex with them -- 17 percent higher than the national average.
Legal questions abound
Several questions came up at a recent meeting of the committee overseeing the program's implementation. Szczerba and other critics said the law is short on specifics for handling tough scenarios.
There were so many unanswered questions that committee Chairman Dr. Jaime Rivera, the director of the state's Division of Public Health, decided state prosecutors and police officers need to meet this month with health officials and social workers who will run the program. Together, they will draft a set of guidelines that will determine how such situations will be handled.
The oversight committee will review the guidelines in early December, Rivera said.
Szczerba, a longtime detractor of the program, raised several issues:
•Are his undercover drug agents supposed to ignore addicts who line up at the van if it makes a stop where a surveillance operation is taking place?
•What should his officers do if they catch someone with one program needle and one illicit one?
•Can his officers arrest someone after a vehicle chase that starts in the city but ends in New Castle County, where the law says people are not exempt from prosecution for having a program needle?
Effects on society questioned
In addition to the tricky scenarios Szczerba expects his officers to face while on patrol, he worries about broader effects, too.
"What about officer apathy? Will they be less likely to make an arrest for possessing illegal needles now that they're told it's OK for some people to have them?" he said. "How about community apathy? Will a family who sees someone injecting drugs in a park not call the police to report it after they've heard about a program saying some needles are OK to have?"
State Rep. John C. Atkins, R-Millsboro, a lead opponent of the program, said he remains troubled by a law that allows minors to get free needles without parental consent.
"I think a parent would rather see their child taken to a treatment center than getting a free needle," he said. "And will the state get sued if a kid ODs with a needle given to them by the government?"
Atkins also wants to know if a young addict in the program can take a legal needle to school.
City Public Safety Director James Mosley wants to know -- especially with a rash of recent deaths linked to fentanyl-laced heroin -- if the people who run the program would give police needles that could be evidence in a criminal case.
It's unclear, too, when addicts will get cut off if they repeatedly come to the van with nonprogram needles in exchange for program needles. When the program is introduced, addicts will be able to bring an illicit needle to the one-for-one exchange program. But they won't be cut off right away if they return with another dirty one, state health department representative Jim Dickinson said.
Those are the types of questions the guidelines will try to address, Rivera said.
State Sen. Margaret Rose Henry, D-Wilmington East, who fought for years to get the program passed, said the obstacles are not unexpected -- or insurmountable.
"This is the law, and now we need to make it work," she said, noting the oversight committee was formed to deal with such issues.
Law passed; disagreement looms
Obvious tension existed between the program's supporters and detractors at the recent committee meeting, held last week at the Delaware Health and Social Services' campus on U.S. 13 near New Castle.
Henry noted that the majority of Wilmington council members supported the program.
Szczerba said that's irrelevant, noting that the council has opposed the Patriot Act as well.
"I enforce the law and accept that this one has been passed," he said.
Szczerba and state health officials said officers and neighborhood groups will be alerted that the vans will be coming.
Health department worker Dickinson said certain details of the program must be kept confidential so that addicts can trust the program enough to use it. For example, he's against providing civic groups with detailed information about times and locations of vans in their neighborhoods and wary of helping police too much with investigations.Contact Adam Taylor at 324-2787 or email@example.com.