Drug-Related Deaths Hit 10-Year Low in Baltimore

Baltimore has always gotten a lot of attention for their use of harm reduction strategies. This article points out that they appear to have simultaneously made huge increases in treatment availability:

In the past decade, the city’s slots for drug treatment for uninsured or under-insured residents rose 62 percent, from 5,136 to 8,295. Funding for drug treatment nearly tripled, from $18 million in 1996 to $53 million last year. In 2005, 23,000 people received drug treatment in publicly supported clinics — a total of about 28,000 “treatment episodes.”

I hope that there is some recovery-oriented research going on there. I spoke to Bill White a while ago and he was telling me about some research that they are starting in Philadelphia. The city has always done annual city-wide surveys to measure the incidence of mental illness, drug problems, drug use and other problems. His project is going to integrate questions that will measure the incidence of addiction recovery throughout the city. They will then saturate areas without much community-based recovery capital and monitor the impact. It’d be interesting to learn more about the impact that the increase on treatment spending has had on the city.