Sunday, June 8, 2014

County Intervention Needed on Drug Policies

Posted as a Letter to the Editor
Cecil Whig
May 8, 2014

A major intervention is needed in Cecil County. In June 2005, Cecil County established a local Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council (DAAC), but today we have one of the highest overdose, crime, child maltreatment and suicide rates attributable to drug abuse in the State of Maryland.

Serving on the DAAC for almost three years, I (along with other members) became frustrated that nothing was being addressed. While Chairman Bennett led us to believe that the DAAC could not vote and was only an advisory body, he and self-appointed secretary Ken Collins forwarded drug treatment initiatives to the Community Health Advisory Committee and later to the governor with little to no input from the DAAC.

This gave the impression the DAAC had voted to support them. Once it was revealed through bylaws we later received (only after the state compelled Ken Collins to give us copies) that the DAAC was supposed to discuss, recommend and vote on all treatment initiatives, Chairman Bennett avoided questions by cancelling the last DAAC meeting. Neither the county executive nor the majority on the county council intervened.

We have since discovered that obstructionism goes as high as the governor's office. If citizens don't take control of their county, there are others who would be more than happy to keep the status quo, and will continue to obstruct true intervention. For more information, go to Cecil County Drug Abuse Exposed! Part I and Letter to the Governor .