Leaders in public health, law enforcement and community organizations have unveiled a report they say is a battle plan against drug use. The focus is on prevention and treatment.
U.S. Attorney Jim Letten says the link between drug abuse and violent crime is well known. He says what’s needed is coordination of resources.
“What is new is the fact that this is the first time you have ever seen all these individuals from across the entire criminal justice, education, private and public spectrum together in one room — not just for a conference — but working together over months and hopefully years to coordinate to make this happen.”
New Orleans Health Commissioner Karen DeSalvo says budget cuts are putting more pressure on how best to offer help.
“We are all crystal clear now about what we’re going to lose and what we need to offset. Now, with this report, we have an even better understanding, from the substance abuse side, what are the services we need to build up, because they are, if you can believe it, even more lacking than our mental health services in the community.”
Letten says the coalition has committed to making sure its recommendations are adopted into practice at schools, courts and treatment programs.