Anne Arundel Community College Survey Focuses on Substance Abuse Issues

Anne Arundel Community College’s Center for the Study of Local Issues released a survey which focused in part on substance abuse issues and yielded some particular insight into heroin use. The Center surveyed 387 residents between March 30 and April 2, 2015. As announced in the Center’s Press Release:

A distinctive part of the spring 2015 survey focused on substance abuse. Respondents were most likely to know a “friend or family member” with alcoholism (31 percent), followed by a “dependence on marijuana” (18 percent), “dependence on prescription pain killers (16 percent), “heroin consumption or overdose” (11 percent) and a “dependence on cocaine” (6percent).

In terms of treatment options for those with heroin dependencies, the most favored was “expanded treatment options for those who are insured” (80 percent) and “increased government funding for in-patient treatment clinics” (61 percent). Respondents were more likely to favor “increased jail sentences” for heroin distributors (84 percent) rather than those “convicted of heroin possession” (39 percent).

The Capital Gazette took note of survey responses for methadone clinics.  In an editorial, the paper offers reasoning for the responses and for the role of methadone clinics given the amount of people with untreated heroin addiction in the community:

 Creating more clinics that distribute methadone got only plurality support: 44 percent in favor vs. 39 percent opposed. That may reflect the debate over the abortive attempt to put such a clinic at a busy crossroads in a residential neighborhood in Pasadena. Or it may be an indication of general ambivalence about methadone therapy that its advocates haven’t yet overcome.

Those advocates will have to try harder to explain that while methadone does indeed replace one drug addiction with another, it’s an addiction to a substance that does not provide a high and allows its clients to function more or less normally. Having a methadone clinic is vastly better for a community than having a lot of untreated heroin addicts there.

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