TABLE 4.3 Community Concerns


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.


• 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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