“This week, Here & Now (audio broadcast) is producing a series about the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic, and the shift that seems to be happening, in many cases, toward treating drug addiction as a health issue, not a crime.
With that shift, some have pointed out the stark differences between the response to this epidemic – largely centered in more affluent, white suburbs – and the response to the heroin and crack epidemics of previous decades, largely concentrated in poor, black urban areas.
In the late 1980s and ’90s, Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke was way out ahead on this issue, shocking people by advocating for decriminalizing the use of drugs, and for treating addiction as a public health crisis.
Host Robin Young discusses race, class and the response to today’s prescription opioid and heroin epidemic with Schmoke and Marc Mauer, executive director of the non-profit The Sentencing Project and author of “Race to Incarcerate.”
Source: NewHampshirePublicRadio.org – September 11, 2015