In the 13 years that Turning Point Clinic has been battling the effects of heroin addiction in Baltimore, we have learned that every addict who enters a methadone treatment program is one less person who may be desperately driven by heroin withdrawal to commit crimes to pay for their drugs. In other words, there is one less potential criminal on our streets that day or night. This is especially true in impoverished neighborhoods in the inner city. Drug related crime is now becoming a problem in suburban and rural communities as well.
Methadone Treatment, therefore, is also one way to help save the addict from possible jail time. Turning Point records indicate that the number of patients in East Baltimore who come to us for treatment rises by 20 percent when their welfare check runs out and they no longer have that source of money to pay for their drugs. The more addicts who turn to methadone treatment instead of to crime, the safer are the community, the family and the addicts themselves.
Police authorities have for years correctly warned that "we cannot simply arrest our way out of this drug problem." But there are ways we can prevent more of the crime it fosters. And one proven way is methadone.