TABLE 4.3 Community Concerns

Communities

Perceptions and Concerns

Common concerns

• Drug use is illegal and immoral and should not be condoned.; • Providing clean needles to drug users is misguided and dangerous.;

• Programs send a mixed message and may worsen society's drug problem.

Ethnic/racial African American

• Drug abuse epidemic has been consistently neglected and drug treatment programs are either not established or not funded adequately.;

• Drug abuse problems and crime in urban communities will be worsened by the implementation of programs.;

• Community leaders are not part of decision making in the establishment of programs within their own communities.;

• Drugs are deliberately supplied to the black community and these programs promote their continued use.;

• HIV is a man-made virus and AIDS may be a form of genocide.;

• Public health authorities cannot be trusted because of past negative experiences, e.g., Tuskegee Syphilis Study, and large segments of the black population are regarded as expendable by the white establishment.

Hispanic

• Complex cultural web in extraordinarily diverse community will require involvement of community leaders for effective implementation of programs.;

• Sexual practices and mores, particularly gender issues, must be addressed adequately.;

• Issues of family and safety are critical to the establishment of programs.

Law enforcement

• Drug use is illegal.;

• Needlesticks to police officers may increase due to an increase in the number of needles in circulation.;

• Programs should not detract attention from addressing underlying causes of addiction.;

• Programs must be tailored to needs of specific communities.;

• Drug abuse problems and crime in urban communities will be worsened by the implementation of programs.;

• Personnel will need to be better educated about such programs and trained to handle situations that may arise before the programs can be successful.;

• Question usefulness of prescription and paraphernalia laws.



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