Schaffer Online Library of Drug Policy Sign the Resolution | Contents | Feedback | Search | DRCNet Home Page | Join DRCNet | DRCNet Library | Schaffer Library | Connecticut


Last Updated 11/06/97 13:01

March 12, 1997


PRESIDING CHAIRMAN: Representative Lawlor                    


SENATORS:           Coleman, Upson, Gunther, Cook,

                    Harp, Williams

REPRESENTATIVES:    Scalettar, Farr, Dandrow,

                    Doyle, Jarjura, Nystrom, 

                    O'Neill, Sauer, Winkler,

                    Dickman, Donovan, Fleischmann,

                    Nardello, Orange, Pudlin, Ryan

REPRESENTATIVE LAWLOR:  The public hearing has started. 
Basically, by way of explanation, we have some out-
of-state speakers who participated in the morning
forum who will be speaking at the outset of today's
meeting.  Then we have members of the public who
have signed up as well to speak.  And normally it's
our procedure in the General Assembly, although
this is not the normal type of public hearing where
we actually have bills before us.  This is an
informational public hearing.  

In this particular process, we are asking people to

talk about their views on our existing drug policy

and provide us with suggestions on how me might go

about formulating more effective solutions.  

We are joined or will be shortly joined by members

of the Public Health Committee and this is an

opportunity to make some suggestions.

One reminder to people who don't normally come

here, everything that is said in these public

hearings is re-broad cast throughout the building. 

So there are legislators who are not here who are

listening in their offices.  Also a verbatim

transcript is made of all of the testimony here

today and although you are not testifying on

specific bills, I can assure you that the testimony

will be kept with the drug policy bills as they

move through the legislative process.

I know Doctor Lewis has to leave early and he has a

very short slide presentation, so I would like to

call on Doctor Lewis first to proceed.


DR. DAVID C. LEWIS:  Can we dim the lights at all?

REP. LAWLOR:  Yes, we can.

DR. DAVID C. LEWIS:  Not turn them off, but just dim

them a little bit.  That would be helpful.  

First, thanks for the privilege of inviting me and

my background is a medical professor and head of a

research institute at Brown University, but I

worked on the health care reform with the Hilary

Clinton Task Force and I am aware of the research

on cost benefit and treatment outcome and have also

participated as the director, Medical Director, of

an addiction hospital in the care of lots of drug


What I am going to present today briefly, is some

information on the problem, what treatment

intervention does for the problem and what some of

the options are for government in terms of policy

and in particular, the balance between the criminal

justice approach and a public health approach

because we need to achieve, in my view, a better

balance of these two and we need achieve more

better balance with more emphasis on a public

health approach.

Now, the situation, as you all understand it, is

emergency room visits for hard core addiction and

addiction problems and drug uses are increasing. 

Overdoses are soaring, substantially greater and

continue to go up.  The need for treatment,

particularly in urban areas has increased while the

budgets for treatment have decreased.

SEN. UPSON:  Drug overdose in those two areas -- cocaine


DR. DAVID C. LEWIS:  Yes.  And the amphetamine group and

the stimulant group.  Drug arrests are very

disproportionate still by race and not only

arrests, but incarceration and this is the

incarceration rates, sentencing disparities between

Black and White and they are pretty dramatic.  

So there are inequities in the administration of

justice.  Offenders are overcrowding federal

prisons and others will speak to the situation in

each state, but with the existing laws in many

states that passed some version of "three strikes",

the fastest growing new population in many of these

prisons are addicted and women among them being the

fastest growing of the addicted population.

And you can see the trend there in the federal

prison population which has continued upward since

these slides were made and the Federal Drug Control

budget basically has the majority of its emphasis

on international interdiction and law enforcement

and the minority, in demand reduction which

includes treatment and prevention.  And most states

have followed suit.

Going backwards and I want to go forward.  Okay. 

Now, what's been in the news lately is the increase

in teenage marijuana use and that's seemed to have

gotten more press than anything else.  It is

interesting during this period of time -- I mean,

the first responses were not tough enough somehow. 

We should toughen up and do more.  But the

situation is interesting for marijuana because in

the same period, roughly, the people are talking

about teenage marijuana use doubling, there were

more arrests for marijuana possession that there

were for cocaine and heroine combined.  And what I

am saying here is that our policy does not follow a

health model and pharmacological model, but follows

a historical model built on prohibition from

alcohol and a kind of hangover from the prohibition

of alcohol with drug prohibition.

SEN. UPSON:  Is that for teenagers or everybody?

DR. DAVID C. LEWIS:  That's for everybody.

Now a lot of the force behind the criminal justice

approach is to control supply.  And unfortunately

it hasn't worked very well. It hasn't worked for

source country, it hasn't worked for interdiction

and it hasn't worked on the street too well either

in terms of controlling supply.  This shows that

cocaine prices are dropping despite the

international control efforts.

So the supply effort is difficult and is flawed. 

Another thing that is a problem with our drug

policy nationally and in every state, is that this

is a complex matter.  An addiction really is multi-

drug and multi-issue.  Gambling is involved. 

Alcohol and tobacco, as you know, are big league

products when it comes to the production of drug

dependence and problems.  It turns out that the

strongest of all the addictions in terms of relapse

rate is nicotine.  Drugs that are relatively

available and much less relapse with drugs like

heroine or even cocaine.  

If we compare causes of death in the United States,

there is about 2 million people that die each year,

about half of that group, one million or so, die of

lifestyle causes and here is the list of lifestyle

causes with tobacco, heading the list.  Alcohol

coming next for the drugs and the elicit drugs,

quite far down on the list, 20,000 versus 400,000

to tobacco.  I think it is very hard to have a

national drug policy that focuses mostly on so-

called "illegal drugs".  I don't think that makes

sense to our youth, particularly when it comes to

drug education.

These are the attributable risks to various kinds

of drug and alcohol use and as you all know, there

is a very substantial health risk associate with

all of this, but particularly with nicotine and

with alcohol.

The good news is that substance abuse treatment

works and it's powerful medicine to bring down

health care costs.  Not only does it bring down

health care costs, but it brings down cost in the

criminal justice system as well and in crime.

There is one study that I would like to show you

which compares the different kinds of approaches

and in a sense, is comparing certain criminal

justice approaches with certain clinical


How much money would you have to invest every year

to accomplish a one percent decrease in cocaine

consumption?  In the comparative study done by the

Rand Corporation shows you that your investment for

source country, eradication of cocaine, is very

high, 783 million a year and for interdiction,

sealing the borders or attempting to seal the

borders, 366 million.  For domestic enforcement,

246 and for treatment, 34.  So it's a relative

bargain.  Twenty-three times more cost effective

than source country.

What can you do on a state level?  I would say that

expenditure on drug treatment is probably the most

effective, single community anti-drug kind of a

(INAUDIBLE) that you can do.  You probably save

more money and you probably reduce more crime by

making treatment on demand.  

Interestingly enough, the State of Minnesota had a

consolidated plan where they increased their

treatment budget trying to offset it from savings

in the health system and the criminal justice

system.  They spent $50 million and they got 80%

back within a year.  And most of the return on

their investment, was in DWI arrests and other

arrests.  In other words, the criminal justice

system part or the crime related part were the

biggest savings.  And similarly in California, they

got $7 back for the taxpayers for every dollar they

invested in treatment and most of those savings

were crime related savings. Some of them were

health related savings.  The important thing to

understand about Minnesota, California, and other

places where these studies have been done, is the

savings are almost immediate.  They recouped 80%

within a year.  The reason is as soon as anybody

gets into treatment, it becomes an anti-crime

measure.  They are under cover and the crime rates

drop right away.

So you don't have to evaluate them one or two or

three years out to see what they are doing.  It's

an infective intervention.  And this state approves

it and Minnesota and other states have had a

similar experience.  You have to compare your

budgets.  You have to know it's in the criminal

justice budget and in the health budget.  You have

to do the kind of analytical work in the budgets so

you understand how you save from one to the other. 

But the costs benefits and the cost offsets are

very substantial.

The influence on prevention is profound. We have

now an education system that says don't use any

drugs.  We don't have an education system that

says, if you do use alcohol, don't drive.  We want

to say, don't use alcohol, don't drink.  If you do

drink, don't drive.  We just stop and say don't

drink and teenagers are drinking.  So we have this

kind of try and die, what I call, "try and die"

drug education.  

We've got to get more realistic about it and look

at drug harms as well as drug use as a criteria and

we have to reform our prevention and education

system.  Not only making treatment more available,

but making education more realistic.  

In closing, we can take our current approach and

ask ourselves three questions.  Do you think we've

won the war against drugs?  Do you think that the

current strategies are winning the war against

drugs?  And lastly, do you think doing more of the

same will ever win the war against drugs? 

I maintain that we need a fresh look at a public

health approach to this problem.  State

legislatures have to put money into this because it

is cost beneficial and you will see the results,

not only in the return of dollars, but in the

return of healthier communities.

I would like to leave with the committee four

reports, which I think will be informative.  The

one is called, "Keeping Score" which is the report

from which I got the slides that were projected. 

Another is called, "Fixing a Failing System - How

the Criminal Justice System Should Work With

Communities to Reduce Substance Abuse".  Another is

"Health Reform for Communities", the report that

was made up by a project of the (INAUDIBLE) Johnson

Foundation for the health care reform debate and

last, "Implementing Welfare Reform - Solutions for

the Substance Abuse Problems".  

So, Representative Lawlor, I would like to leave

these for the use of the committee.

REP. LAWLOR:  Our staff will take them, Doctor.  

DR. DAVID C. LEWIS:  Thank you.

REP. LAWLOR:  Thanks very much.  Ladies and gentlemen,

normally we don't have demonstrations in our public

hearings for or against the speakers and hope you

would appreciate our concern in that regard for

future speakers.

Was there any questions for Doctor Lewis? 

Representative Farr.

REP. FARR:  I am a little confused by some of your

message.  Your message seems to be that the drug

situation in America has gotten worse.  My

understanding is that drug use is half of what it

was in 1980.  Then your message is it has gotten

worse because we spend too much on prisons and when

I look at your slides, we also spend significantly

more than we ever did on treatment and education.

So is your suggestion that the criminal justice

system, by trying to prevent the sale of drugs, is

increasing the use of drugs?  Could you please

reconcile those two concepts?

DR. DAVID C. LEWIS:  I'm not sure it's achieving

society's aims.  Let me say that while drug use may

have been dropping, until the recent increase in

teenagers, let's say during the 80's, the problems

related to drug use were going up.  So the use is

dropping, but let's say harmful use is the main

criteria we look at.

So if you look what happened to the AIDS epidemic

in terms of drug related AIDS, if you look at what

happened to some of the crime rates related to

drugs, particularly violence, including domestic

violence, if you look at the problems related to

drugs, they have been going up continually and hard

core addiction has been increasing during the whole

time.  The biggest growing budgets are around the

criminal justice system, not around the treatment

system.  As a matter of fact, managed care has

pretty much decimated a big part of the treatment

system, particularly for middle class addicts.  So

I think the data is not what you are presented to

be because the drug use is not the only measure of


Now I am not saying that the criminal justice

system is the fault of the problems related to

drugs.  I'm saying that we haven't put enough

emphasis on a public health model that could, I

think, achieve a different result and a cost

effective result.  

So I am being very pragmatic in terms of what I

think will work for government and I am presenting

data that show that that's a good investment and

also that show that our large expenditures in the

criminal justice system, particularly for

incarceration, while it seems like a good thing, is

not really paying off in terms of an anti-crime

measure and it is certainly not paying off in terms

of helping people get better from their addiction.

REP. FARR:  Well, we could debate this.  Obviously, the

crime rates are dropping in America.  They are

dropping in this state.  The issue of the AIDS

epidemic doesn't appear to me that the relationship

of the change in the drug usage because the AIDS

got into the community of intervenous drug users

and it wasn't there and once it got in it spread. 

But I think the major issue is and what we ought to

focus in on is where we cost effectively spend our


The concern I have with one of the reports that we

had from our own Program Review was that 58% of the

people that go into drug programs that the State

operates, 58% don't even complete the programs and

that is sort of alarms me.  When people say we need

more spots and yet people aren't completing the

programs right now.  

I know in the alcohol area there was testimony last

year that in some of the de-tox units we were told

that we needed more spots for alcohol de-tox and

then there was testimony that some people have gone

through de-tox as many as 100 times during the

course of the year and I guess my concern is that

how do we measure which programs we ought to be

investing our dollars in, in a systematic way

because I am not convinced that we are doing a very

good job on that.

DR. DAVID C. LEWIS:  It's a good question.  I think,

understanding the nature of addiction, is to

understand the problem of relapse.  Obviously, if

you de-tox somebody once and they never relapse, it

would be a pretty easy score to treat addiction. 

We wouldn't have an addiction problem in this

country, but the fact is as anybody knows who has

tried to quit smoking, and who has a drinking

problem and tried to quit drinking, it's not easy. 

So we have to really put time, effort, energy and

the whole self help movement to play to try to help


In terms of treatment outcomes, it very much

depends on who goes in.  So if you take a tough

population like an urban street population that has

a history of prison and criminal involvement, you

are going to have a tougher time trying to

rehabilitate these people in the treatment system. 

That's no surprise. 

If you take somebody that hasn't lost too much from

their addiction, they are going to do better.  So I

think what you have is a system where the

evaluation of the effectiveness of programs very

much depends on the population they take on.  And

this is very important in understanding the

Medicaid reform that you are going to be involved

in that sometimes the outcomes reflect the work

with the tougher population and they won't be as

good as other programs that take care of

populations that are doing better in the first


If you then correct for those, you find basically

the treatment works really well, much better than

the public tends to think it does.  The public

tends to see the relapses.  If you have an

alcoholic in your family, you tend to see that they

don't get better, very easily or somebody tries to

quit cigarettes, you get frustrated with that or

the less familiar situation to the public, is the

heroine addict and cocaine addict and since it's

less familiar, you figure these people never quit,

but as somebody who has taken of about maybe 8,000

heroine and cocaine addicts, it's surprising how

many heroine addicts clean up their act and some of

them don't on methadone maintenance and go for long

periods of time being productive working citizens.

So, to understand the treatment outcome, you have

to understand the different populations that are

getting treatment, what you can expect from it,

what your investment pays for, and what the

outcomes are and I think we have more research on

treatment outcome for alcohol and drugs than we do

for a lot of other diseases.  It's only that the

burden of proof and I experienced this very much in

working with trying to reform the health care

system, the burden of proof is greater for those of

us that work with addictions than for any other


REP. FARR:  First of all, I think it was Mark Twain that

said, "giving up smoking is the easiest thing in

the world", he had done it 1,000 times.  

But I guess my concern is that at some point -- I

understand that treating addiction is to expect

failure because people do fail and there are

relapses and stuff, but there is some point where a

person goes 100 times in the course of a year

through de-tox, you begin to wonder whether there

is a wise investment in your money for that

particular individual.  I know you can say, well

maybe eventually you will turn around, but if it

costs you a few thousand dollars --

DR. DAVID C. LEWIS:  One hundred times -- we used to

say, statistically, that it was the fifth or

seventh admission in our hospital that got the

heroine addict better.  It more or less had to run

its string.  First (INAUDIBLE - MICROPHONE NOT ON)

it wasn't 100 times, it was more like six or seven

times for people that were the worst effected.

The 100 times tends to produce a certain kind of

revolving door and a special kind of cost and here

in Connecticut and those of us in Rhode Island have

solved this by longer term care facilities,

different kinds of facilities than the more

expensive hospital based treatment.

So that's a very special population.  It accounts

for about two or three percent, at most, of the

whole population and you match that kind of problem

with a particular kind of health intervention,

which involves fairly low cost, long term and you

have that in Connecticut and Connecticut has some

of the best programs in the country of that sort.

REP. LAWLOR:  Other questions?  Representative


REP. SCALETTAR:  Thank you.  Doctor Lewis, good


This morning an issue came up about prevention as

opposed to treatment strategies and I was wondering

if you have any experience in that and you could

speak to what kind of prevention initiatives are

successful with these populations?

DR. DAVID C. LEWIS:  Well, I think if we had to vote on

what we would prefer to do, in terms of policy

implementation, most of us would pick prevention. 

I mean, we would like to save everybody the trouble

as an anti-crime measure, as an anti-addiction

measure.  So I think that is one thing we can all

agree on.

Then we come to a fundamental problem which has

partly to do with the definition of what the

problem is.  If you say drug use is the problem,

then prevention means no drug use in a drug free

society.  If you say drug harm is a problem, then

prevention is intended to reduce harm.  

So it can deliver a clear abstinence message, but

also, as I said before, try to say if you are going

to use, use to do the less harm to yourself, the

least harm to yourself and particularly, the least

harm to others.  

So the fact of the matter is that drug education

that simply says, "Just say No", when it's

evaluated, doesn't seem to ring true with

teenagers.  I mean, there has been a major effort

in the schools going in with a very hard policy

line that says all or none.  There is nothing in

between.  Just say no.  Abstinence.  Don't use

drugs.  You are talking to students that are

drinking, that are smoking marijuana, and they

don't believe the risks that are really there.  

So I think you have to say, okay, look -- some of

you are going to use these drugs.  We don't want

you to use these drugs.  We don't think any of you

ought to use these drugs, but if you do use these

drugs, this is what you have to know about these

drugs.  That becomes a more credible message. 

That's not the kind of message we are delivering

and I think that's a mistake all the way across the


Some idea and I use the drinking example -- if you 

say, don't drink and stop, if you go further -- if

you say don't drink and stop, that's pure, that's

okay.  But if you say, don't drink, but if you do

drink, for heaven sense, don't drive, that somehow

saying that encourages people to drink.  There is

no evidence for that.

So I think what you've got to realize in

prevention, at least when it comes to education,

that the message has to be realistic and it has to

be true and communities have mobilized in a number

of national projects to produce prevention efforts

that have been extremely helpful because they have

intervention and they have alternatives,

particularly for kids that have time on their

hands, for unemployed that need help in getting

jobs.  So that's another kind of prevention that is

very important and a number of large scale projects

have shown that this is effective.  And we just

haven't invested much in that kind. We have

invested a lot of money, including recently, I

think, $350 million in a campaign on television --

$175 million.  A lot of money -- $175 million

nationally for a public television campaign to

increase the all or none message and I don't think

that's where we ought to be putting our resources.

REP. SCALETTAR:  You mentioned that there are some

communities that are doing more innovative and

successful programs.  Do you have examples of

those?  Can you tell us where they are, if not

today, then just --

DR. DAVID C. LEWIS:  Yes.  As many of you know,

Bridgeport was one of the community programs that

was at the core of the Robert (INAUDIBLE) Johnson

Fight Back Program and I think some of the

communities that are involved in that Robert

(INAUDIBLE) Johnson Fighting Back Program

nationally and with the community coalitions that

were sponsored by the Center for Substance Abuse

Treatment, are very good examples and what I can

do, rather than just name a few cities is I am on

the National Advisory Committee for that Fighting

Back Project.  Why don't I send you, for the

committee, a report, a recent report of the various

communities and what they have done and that

probably will answer your question better than my 

just tossing off a few names?

REP. SCALETTAR:  That would be helpful.  Thank you very



REP. LAWLOR:  Are there other questions?  Senator


SEN. GUNTHER:  You know, all morning I have heard about

this being a health program and yet I think the

least input that you get is with the health systems

of our state, the data.  We should have a total

data bank and you people right now with the report

that is coming out, wants to put it in OPM, the

data on health care, as I understand it.

Why isn't all the emphasis put into the health

program for treating this disease and the effect it

has on total health care in the State?  We will

never recognize that until we get a total health

bank on health care.

Now, do you have any feeling towards that?

DR. DAVID C. LEWIS:  Well, I think each state has their

own data management systems.  The really important

thing is to recognize the relationship of these

data banks and to have them kind of collaborate, if

you will, with one another.  So that you can see

not only what the cost effectiveness is of

interventions of the health system, but their

effect on other social and community kinds of costs

and that becomes pretty important.

And then you understand why, for instance,

providing certain critical social services along

with health services are the way you want to go in

terms of your budget.  Otherwise you wouldn't see

that if the social services budget are separate. 

And I used the example of the criminal justice

budget or the justice budget and the health budget

being totally separate.  So it's not simply being

able to use analysis on the health side, which is

very desirable, particularly as managed care comes

in and you want to see if their cost savings are

just a hit and run one year operation, or long

term, but you would want to actually build up a

relationship among those data bases and that's very

hard for both states and federal government to do. 

It's a tough call, but until we do that, we won't

be able to see the relationships and what people

really need until we do that kind of analysis.

SEN. GUNTHER:  But unfortunately, I think what is

happening is just the opposite of what it should

be.  If you had a total health program, then you

would have this data into a basic bank and then you

could draw on that and the other fragmentations. 

We are fragmented all over a ten acre lot even when

it comes to the education program and I've heard

this comment.  We have had education for how long

under the Educational Department in this state to

teach kids not to drink, not to use drugs.  Teenage

pregnancy.  It don't work under the Education

Department.  It's a health issue.  Maybe if the

Health Department handled that and taught them the

effect on their health, maybe we could get

something in a basic data base.  

Have you any comment on that?

DR. DAVID C. LEWIS:  Not further than what I have

already said.  

SEN. GUNTHER:  Have you ever thought of that?

DR. DAVID C. LEWIS:  You are making my point, actually,

better than I can make it.  So I am not going to --

I am not going to interrupt you.  

SEN. GUNTHER:  The only trouble is try to talk to -- in

our process up here.  We have people that want to

put the health data base into the Insurance company

or into the Insurance Commissioner, I am sorry, not

the company.  You know, you get all this

fragmentation --

DR. DAVID C. LEWIS:  The issue of private and public

data become even stickier because they privacy

concerns.  So I am not going to -- this is such a

treacherous area when you talk to what's

proprietary information and what ought to be

government information.  The fact of the matter is,

unless we figure out a way to do what you are

talking about, to see what our real costs are, it's

going to be very hard to do really sensible

budgeting and everybody should be aware of the --

SEN. GUNTHER:  When do we have the guts enough to say,

look, let's get a total data base on health.  You

people are making the case for health and I will

admit that I listened to my good friend, John

Bailey there and he and I -- I think we do a little

dancing around on that.  I like John Bailey's

approach because I think it's about time after

listening to your speeches this morning that we

realize that by having AR and have youthful

offenders have a cop out on getting after the drug

program, somebody up here ought to -- and I have to

point to my lawyer friends here -- will maybe

change the AR and the youth and when it comes to

drugs and get down to brass tacks, do you think it

will happen this year?  John, you are nodding your

head yes, but you mean no, don't you?

JOHN BAILEY:  My point is that it should happen.  If we

have these programs, there should not be a way to

cop out. 

SEN. GUNTHER:  I agree with you. Let's let the law side

of it handle it.  Let's have the health side take

and do the data and the background, maybe we can

get somewhere with it.

Have I said enough?  I get a cold breathe on my

neck if it isn't Vinnie Chase.  He tried to

outweigh me.

REP. LAWLOR:  Senator Upson.

SEN. UPSON:  You stated that, for example, if you said

something in school that if you drink, don't drive. 

What would you say if in front of students about

marijuana use?

DR. DAVID C. LEWIS:  Don't use marijuana, but this is

what you ought to know about the drug.

SEN. UPSON:  What would you -- go further.  What would

they have to know about it?

DR. DAVID C. LEWIS:  Don't drive.  Same thing.  What it

does about coordination.  I certainly wouldn't

recommend -- if I am not recommending someone use

it as a teenager, that's what I am recommending. 

If they do use it, I sure would tell them not to

drive.  I wouldn't tell them that it causes cancer. 

I wouldn't make things up.  In other words, I would

try to stick as close -- I would try to stick as

close to what we know about the science as


SEN. UPSON:  Okay.  Thank you.  

SEN. GUNTHER:  Could I make a --


SEN. GUNTHER:  -- quick follow up on a remark you made? 

It might be good to tell that it could produce

cancer.  I don't know if you have ever read, "Keep

of the Grass" by Doctor Nahas, but he has done some

documentation of stuff that's done for years and

incidentally, there is a generic effect on the DNA

by marijuana.  They ought to know about these

things and that's a health program and we get back

to health.

DR. DAVID C. LEWIS:  But if the science isn't right,

eventually people get very cynical about the

propaganda.  So the problem of saying that

marijuana leads to cancer is two problems for

teenagers.  One, that's way down the pike and

second, most people are occasionally users of

marijuana and they are never going to use it enough

to even dream of getting any kind of a cancer.  So

they know and they sense it's funny.  The sense

that it's coming from an authority, they begin not

to trust the authority.  I think we undermine our

whole system when we kind of slap science in the

face and make things up about drugs and portray

them as a lot more dangerous than they really are

by making up stories.

There are plenty of dangers to drugs that are

realistic and scientifically proven.  We ought to

stick to those.  That's all I am saying.

SEN. GUNTHER:  Yes, but the same argument --

DR. DAVID C. LEWIS:  Cancer isn't one of them with


SEN. GUNTHER:  Mind you, we scream and yell about

tobacco as a great cause for cancer and that, but

everybody ignores the aromatic hydrocarbons that

are coming from trillions of gallons of gasoline

that are pumped out every day out on your roadways. 

And yet, that has no affect on cancer.  Is one of

the major carcinogenics.  We ignore that.  

REP. LAWLOR:  Further questions?  Yes, Representative


REP. DANDROW:  Good afternoon and please excuse me not

being able to make this morning's presentation.  I

did watch part of it on t.v. and I had another


As the past co-chairman of Program Review, we did

an intensive study on the State's substance abuse

policies for juveniles and youth and there was a

series of recommendations that was made within the

report.  Some of that really bothered me

tremendously was that less than half of the young

clients who complete the substance abuse treatment

programs and not only that say half didn't complete

them, but also 70% showed no improvement or even

said some even got worse with respect to their drug

use and addiction.

Now, why would you think that would -- the

addiction would worsen rather than become better

after being even involved for a short time in a


DR. DAVID C. LEWIS:  Well, I am not sure the addiction

is worse.  I mean, adolescents are the tough part

of this thing, it doesn't matter what we are

talking about.  We are talking about criminal

justice programs.  We are talking about treatment

programs. We are talking about prevention programs. 

The fact of the matter is it is an unstable time

and people are getting into what amounts to a

natural history of up and down drug taking.  Some

of them are getting addicted, most of them are not. 

Some of them are into all kinds of other

dysfunctional activities and many of them have

seriously psychiatric (INAUDIBLE).

So to focus just on the drug piece, is usually a

mistake.  You really have to understand the

adolescent population you are talking about when

you do these evaluations.  There are many

adolescent populations that are really disturbed

and the drug thing is just a symptom of their

disturbance.  There are adolescent populations in

which the only thing for them in their community,

it seems, is the drug taking.  There is no other

activity.  There is no other employment and they

really get fowled up with that.

So without knowing exactly what populations made up

the data -- I wouldn't conclude until I know a lot

more about it that the drugs cause the problem and

that the intervention made it worse.  I would want

to know what other things were going on with those

kids.  That particularly true of adolescents.  Less

true with adults, by particularly true of


REP. DANDROW:  Do you think that there is a tendency, a

genetic tendency to use substance abuse if it's

been in the family before or is it an inherited


DR. DAVID C. LEWIS:  I think the only information on

inherited tendencies have to do with the likelihood

of development dependence if your father and mother

was also drug dependent.  That's particularly true

with alcohol where the most information is

available like identical twins separated at birth

and one placed in a family of drinkers and one not.

They will tend to develop alcoholism based on their

genetic parents and not in their foster placements.

So we have a number of different kinds of data that

indicate that the risk for developing alcoholism in

children of alcoholics that drink, particularly

alcoholic fathers is about five to six times

greater than the general population.

There is some information that some of that occurs

on the drug side with heroine, but it's much less

powerful than for alcohol.  It hasn't been studied

nearly as much.  There seems to be a combination of

genetic and environmental influences applied which

is the case of almost of every one of the

behavioral traits.  Either it is over eating, or

any of the things that you are familiar with that

have a big behavioral counterpart.  Environment

plays a very, very big component even in those

people that have a strong genetic influence.

So environment, if you had to pick one or the

other, is still the key even though a lot of this

stuff seems to have a genetic vulnerability.  

REP. DANDROW:  And if I can ask one more question. 

There seemed to be a tendency for substance abusing

mothers, particularly, to drop out of programs and

then they get their child back and go back home. 

Now meeting with a group of them, they absolutely

positively assured me that even though there were

using substance, they were able to care adequately

for their children and their children were in

wonderful, safe environments.  I doubt seriously if

you can be a substance abusing mother and

adequately care safely and correctly for your


Your comment.

DR. DAVID C. LEWIS:  Even if you can, I don't think

that's the kind of way to go.  I mean, basically,

what are the alternatives for those women?  I

visited a program recently in Cleveland.  It was

very interesting.  It was for women like that and

the issue was when they got their children back and

it really was a facility where they had

intervention and treatment in a good day care

center and they put the two together and the women

did spectacularly well.  So, the question is

partly, are you leaving these people without help

and just bargaining over the legalistic pros and

cons of whether they get their kids back or do you

have the programs available which might allow them

and their children to benefit.

So I have seen some very good programs in the area

and that would be my first kind of line of defense.

The theoretical issue, can you still be functioning

well and taking drugs, particularly with alcohol,

the most is known how many people in our society in

big league responsible situations, function with

alcohol with well known with marijuana. Even in the

situation of heroine addiction and some cocaine

addiction, if you know who the people are that are

middle class and well jobbed and well situated in

society that are using these drugs, it's pretty

hard to demonetize the thing across the board.  

It's not a good argument for a mother and a child,

but to say that all drug use has got to result in

dysfunction, isn't what the science is about. 

However, the answer is to get the kind of treatment

and intervention that works for the mother and the

child and since you see good programs that do that,

that would be my first of going about it.

REP. DANDROW:  I would appreciate it if you could send

me any information you have on those programs. You

could send them to the committee. 

Thanks you.

DR. DAVID C. LEWIS:  I will send it.

REP. LAWLOR:  Other questions?  If not, thank you very

much, Doctor.

DR. DAVID C. LEWIS:  Thank you.

REP. LAWLOR:  Next is Frank Hall from the Department of


FRANK HALL:  I want to thank the members of the

committee and the Chairman for this opportunity to


My name is Frank Hall and I am a District Program

Manager with the Department of Correction, the

Addiction Services Unit and I have about 24 years

of experience in correctional substance abuse

treatment and the reason I am here today is I sat

in on the meeting this morning I wanted to

emphasize the need for substance abuse treatment

within the Department of Corrections.  

I see -- well I worked for the Department for

almost 24 years and I see treatment within the

Department of Correction as kind of the last resort

of many of the inmates that we deal with.  For the

most part, people who have been through the

treatment systems either on a pre-trial basis and

were not able -- you know, for whatever reason did

not complete the treatment program. These are

people as Mr. Bailey alluded to who have committed

more serious offenses and who do not qualify

programs such as the Alternative Incarceration


As been discussed today, and I don't want to be too

redundant, but addiction is a chronic relapsing

disease and a major health problem. There are two

factors -- two important factors that affect the

outcome of the disease. One is denial.  Basically

most people who have an addiction don't accept or

don't realize they have a problem.  Also another

factor is resistance to treatment.  Many of the

people who are abusers as a result of their denial

are not interested into getting into treatment

until they are forced to.  Most cases it is either

their family members, their job, or the criminal

justice system that forces them to the realization

that they have a problem and they need to do

something about it.

And I also want to point out that these factors are

not unique to addiction.  I am sure many of us know

people who have suffered say, a heart attack who

continue to smoke.  They are denying they have a

problem.  They think they can continue to do what

they did before and come out with the same results. 

I think it was kind of interesting on the

presentation that Doctor Lewis made earlier and he

had a series of questions about the drug war and

one of the phrases or approaches that we use in

drug treatment is we say to the client that if you

expect to do what you have done before in the same

way, and you expect different results, then you are

really insane. 

So, in order to change your lifestyle, in order to

become drug free and lead a productive lifestyle, a

person has to change their feelings, the way they

think and their behavior.  It's a long process.  It

is not easy.  Many of the people that we deal

within a department of corrections have lengthy

criminal and substance abuse histories, going back

or 10 or 15 years.  You can't expect that you put

somebody in prison for two years and they have no

treatment, you can't expect they are going to

change their behavior.  

As has been pointed out earlier today, 80% of the

inmates within the Department of Corrections are in

need of substance abuse treatment.  Unfortunately,

-- well, treatment is not a priority within the

Department of Corrections.  Public safety and

security are and I understand those important



Currently, less than 5% of the Department's budget

is spent on substance abuse treatment.  We, at any

given time, are able to provide services to about

1,800 inmates in varying levels of treatment.  And

that's about 13% of the population that is in need

of treatment.  

As has been documented this morning and this

afternoon, substance abuse is highly correlated

with criminal behavior, domestic violence, child

abuse, HIV disease and other societal problems.  

One of the things about why I am here today is to

emphasize the need for treatment within the

Department of Corrections is that incarceration for

all of its -- I guess, negative effects on a

person's life, I think presents a unique situation

for the individual to change their behavior. 

Usually people talk in treatment about hitting

bottom.  Usually, I think, most people would

construe that once you are put in jail, you hit

bottom.  So for those people who have not been a

minimal to treatment prior to be incarcerated, were

able to provide an opportunity for these

individuals to change their behavior.

Now, fortunately as has been documented earlier,

substance abuse treatment works.  It's cost

effective and it's critical to public safety. 

There was a report that was completed a couple of

years ago by the California Health Department. 

They found for that every dollar invested in

treatment saves $7 in other related health costs.  

Substance abuse treatment reduces criminal

behavior.  We have completed studies, outcome

studies within the Department of Corrections, one

in particular at the Women's Treatment Facility for

a -- it's a long term six month treatment program

for inmates who enter that program and completed

it, the recidivism rate after 18 months was only

about 27%. The recidivism rate for those inmates

who were involved in no treatment was 70%.  So the

results are very clear.  

We have also done other outcome studies that have

shown that other levels of treatment have also been

effective at reducing criminal behavior.  

There is another study that should be out soon that

continues to demonstrate that effectiveness.

What I am asking is that treatment in Corrections,

one, be given an opportunity and also that we

strive to maintain, at a minimum, the current

treatment services that are being provided.  I

realize that resources are scare within this state

and there is a lot of competition from a variety of

areas in terms of the various needs within this

state that deal with the various ills of society

that we deal with. And what I am asking is that

substance abuse treatment within Corrections be

given a consideration.

Thank you very much.

REP. LAWLOR:  Are there questions?  Representative Farr.

REP. FARR:  Good afternoon.  On the treatment.  What

form of treatment do you give to --

FRANK HALL:  Well, we have a variety of treatment

interventions which we utilize and I will try to go

over it very briefly.  

We have what we call a tier structure. There are

four tiers.  The first tier is basically just an

intervention where we provide four to six sessions

for mostly inmates who are at the direct admission

facilities.  The purpose of that is really just to

explain them the consequences of substance abuse

and provide information about programs within the

Department of Correction.

The next level of treatment we have is called Tier

Two. That's where we -- it's an intensive out-

patient program.  Now when I say out-patient, that

means the inmates live in general population and go

to a central location to receive the treatment

services.  That program is basically provided two

to three times a week in a group session and it is

two to three months in length.

The next level is Tier Three.  It's is what we call

day care program.  It is four to six months in

length.  Persons involved in a treatment group on a

daily basis.  

The last and most intensive and probably the most

successful is what we call Tier Four.  It is a

residential program.  Inmates are housed in a

separate housing unit.  There are currently six of

those programs operating within the Department of

Corrections.  Inmates are involved at a full-time

program for a period of six months.

And so basically the treatment consists of skill

development, teaching skill so they can live a more

productive lifestyle, obviously more law abiding

lifestyle, providing information about substance

abuse, helping them to learn how to deal with

particular problems that they encounter in life,

and the general focus is individual and group

counselling, primarily.

REP. FARR:  A couple of more questions about that.


REP. FARR:  Do you have -- do you use Methadone at all

in the present --

FRANK HALL:  Currently, the Department of Correction

does not use Methadone maintenance. 

REP. FARR:  And there has been proposals that -- to

offer Methadone for patients. The clients are

either short term or long term who are going to be

leaving the system and the testimony the other day

was that in New York they did that and 90% of the

people who started taking the Methadone showed up

at a Methadone clinics when they got out.  And the

Department hasn't -- is not doing that and doesn't

have the assets, the funds to do that.  Is that


FRANK HALL:  Well, let me express my own personal

opinion regarding Methadone maintenance.  I

personally am going to have a problem providing

Methadone maintenance within a correctional setting

and part of the reason is that our current

treatment system is based on the abstinence

philosophy and that philosophy, basically, means

that if you want to become drug free, then that

means you can't use any drugs at all. So, providing

Methadone maintenance is obviously contradictory to

that philosophy.  

I think it would be difficult from a treatment

perspective to provide a contradictory type of

treatment approaches within a correctional setting. 

I certainly have no problem with Methadone

maintenance in the community.  And if there are

individuals who are appropriate for that type of

treatment, and want to become involved in it, upon

their release to the community, then I think we can

set up a system of assessing those individuals and

making the appropriate referral. 

I think one of the other problems with the

Methadone maintenance within a correctional setting

is -- I know some of the proposals have to deal

with people who are in a pre-trial basis.  Well,

obviously the problem is you don't know whether

these individuals are going to be sentenced or

released.  If they are sentenced and they are

placed on Methadone maintenance, then they would

have to be taken off of Methadone maintenance. 

So I think there are some clearly some operational

problems in terms of having Methadone maintenance

within a correctional setting.

REP. FARR:  I guess the problem is that the program that

was described in New York was one that if you get

somebody on Methadone in prison where they have no

alternative, that once they are on it, then there

is a great incentive to go to the clinics once they

get out.  But if you tell them, well when you get

out, walk out the door, there is the clinic -- next

to the clinic is somebody selling or down the

street is somebody selling heroin, you know, they

are most used to heroin than they are the Methadone

and they are going to -- they tend to go back to

the heroin and they don't show up at the clinic.

FRANK HALL:  Let me also say that if the Department

decided at this point their position is not to

support Methadone maintenance, but I think this

question probably could be better answered by the

Director of Health Services because if it were to

be administered, it would be -- since it has to be

administered by physicians it would really be

operated within that unit rather than the Addiction

Services Unit.  

REP. FARR:  Right.  I have two other questions.  


REP. FARR:  One is the drug use in the prison systems --

do you monitor -- do you do urine tests?

FRANK HALL:  Yes, within all of the drug treatment

programs, we conduct urinalyses on a random basis. 

There is also, in all of the -- what we call Level

Two facilities which are minimum security

facilities, random drug testing is conducted.  And

there are consequences for use of the substance.

There is a disciplinary process that would ensue if

a person was found to be using substance.

Let me say, in addition to that, also the

Department uses dogs who come in and do -- they use

dogs for searching inmate cells.

REP. FARR:  A quick question for you, though. 

Percentage of people that show up having used drugs

in the prison -- do the random checks, what kind of

percent do you show that come up showing that they

have used drugs?

FRANK HALL:  That are positive?

REP. FARR:  Yes.

FRANK HALL:  I am not -- I don't really have access to

those particular statistics.  I don't know if I can

really help you on that.  I can say that in the

past when --

REP. FARR:  Let me just ask you -- we have to kind of

cut it short.  If somebody could get me the data, I

would like to see some data on that so that I have

an understanding how frequently drugs are used

there.  Also, if you could later supply me with

some data as to the cost of the various drug

programs you are now doing, if you have that.


REP. FARR:  Okay.  Thank you.  

FRANK HALL:  I will be glad to provide that part.  

REP. LAWLOR:  Thank you very much.

FRANK HALL:  Thank you very much.  


REP. DANDROW:  Yes.  Just one quick question.  All of

the programs that you have described, they are

available to women at the Niantic --

FRANK HALL:  Yes.  Basically at -- well now they don't

call it Niantic anymore.


FRANK HALL:  It is called the York Correctional

Institution.  There are basically two correctional

facilities located there.  York is the maximum

security and what they call York East now is the

minimum security.  There is a Tier Four program at

York East and there is a Tier Two Program at both

facilities and there is also a Tier One at the York

Maximum Security.  So there is basically three

levels of treatment programs that are available for

the women.

REP. DANDROW:  And there is an adequate number of women


FRANK HALL:  Their programs are all full.

REP. DANDROW:  They are all filled.

FRANK HALL:  Almost all of our programs are at 100%

capacity.  In fact, there is -- you know, the

waiting lists are quite lengthy for --

REP. DANDROW:  That was my next question.  Is there a

waiting list?

FRANK HALL:  There are waiting lists for all the

programs.  The other thing I wanted to comment on,

I know there was a comment earlier about -- I

believe Representative Farr mentioned about the

completion rate.  And I would say that within the

Department of Corrections, the completion rate for

most of our programs is over 60% and I think part

of the reason is that involvement in the treatment

program is often somewhat of a pre-condition for

release to the community.  If you complete a

program you are going to be in a better situation

in terms of an inmate being released to the


So there is an incentive, obviously, to complete

the program and make yourself, as an individual,

more eligible for release to the community.  

REP. DANDROW:  Thank you very much.

FRANK HALL:  Thank you.

REP. LAWLOR:  Thank you.  If there is nothing else,

thank you very much.  

We are trying to accommodate the members of the

public and some of our invited guests so we are

going to alternate back and forth between the two

lists in an effort to get through in a timely


So, going for once to the public list it will be

Yolanda Redin and she will be followed by Susan

Patrick, who I know is accompanied by some other


Yolanda Redin.

YOLANDA REDIN:  Hello.  I thank you for letting me talk. 

I am a recovering addict myself.  I have been

through the system.  I was a prostitute.  I do have

AIDS.  It took me until I was in my 30's until I

even started drugs, I had any kind of a record at


As far as the prison, yes, Niantic does have

Methadone treatment -- six days they de-tox you

starting at 25 milligrams and I don't know if any

of you can understand the de-tox or know how it

feels, but unless you have been through it, it's

the worse picture of the worst type of flu you ever

had, like the sweats and the diarrhea and the

throwing up and stuff like that.  And when you are

picked up you are put into a cell, okay. Say if it

is a long holiday weekend -- I've been picked up on

a Friday.  I have seizures when I go through

withdrawal, brought to the hospital, given seizure

medication, but nothing for withdrawal and have to

spend Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday. So by the

time I go to Niantic on Tuesday, it doesn't show it

in my urine so they don't want to give me

Methadone.  I don't think they should de-tox they

way they do.  I think they should continue people

on the Methadone at one rate.  I feel that no

matter -- for me, it was like in and out of jail --

in and out of jail because I went in jail, did my

few months, came back out and the urge is always in

you.  You know, you -- basically all the girls that

I have known, their thing is to come out and get

high again.  And that's where I was until I hit

dirt bottom.  I got PCP pneumonia and I was

admitted in the hospital like seventeen times.  I

wasn't out more than 10 days and I would be back

admitted to the hospital.

I've been in the Methadone program.  I have been

three years clean.  I do believe that they should

open up and have easy access because I have read

some percentages of people who do get on Methadone

treatment which it shouldn't be at my -- when I was

out, it was a nine month waiting list.  So by the

time you got to the top, you were already in jail. 

You know what I am saying?  

But now it's down to two weeks or three weeks and

it shouldn't even be that.  It should be immediate

if you want the Methadone, you should be able to

take it.  

They say over 80% that get off the Methadone go

back to drugs, you know.  I know for myself, it

shows in my record I have been clean all these

years.  I found a good man. Doesn't have AIDS.  Got

a beautiful home in Windsor Locks and I am living

with him now.  

I think it's unfair the way they put you in the

jail and let you de-tox like an animal.  If you

call for a sheriff they tell you to shut the hell

up.  I think somehow they should be able to give

them Methadone while they are sitting in the cell,

especially on a long weekend.  

I don't think they should de-tox you within six

days.  I ended up with 104 fever trying to de-tox. 

The doctor came into my room once.  They kept me in

ice-packs, okay.  I seen a girl die because it was

time for lock-up and nobody came to open the door. 

We were banging and they threatened to give us

extra time lock-up.  The girl died in the shower

with vomit all on herself.  It was an hour before

they found her.  I seen a girl choke on ice, okay,

before she got a Methadone and she choked to death

between the vomit and that.  

I just feel there are a lot of things unfair.  When

you have AIDS even now, I mean, if I say I have

AIDS, the gloves come on up to here and you know

and just put the mask on.  You cannot catch it

unless I have an open cut bleeding and you've got

an open cut or with sexual ways you can catch it. 

Unfortunately, people are ignorant.  A lot of

people are ignorant to the fact of AIDS.

I don't know.  It is rough out there in those

streets.  It is basic survival and for me it was in

and out.  I did that program he was talking about

in Niantic.  Within a couple of weeks they threw me

out because I had an argument with a girl, okay. 

It wasn't helping me anyway.  There were drugs

brought in.  I got high while I was in there.  A

girl went out on a weekend and came back with some

coke and dope.  I was in lock-up.  The dope was

brought right through, okay.  You know, and the way

it is done is they bring it up through whatever way

they have to which is really kind of dirty, but if

you want to get high, you don't care.  Do you know

what I am saying?  

The cops talk down to you.  There was a cop out

there at one time.  He would just stop you to

disgrace you, call you all kinds of names.  Tell

you to not breathe on him. He doesn't want any of

your germs of you know, the guards.  There are

guards that actually get drugs for you if you do

something for them, you know, things like that and

all that would be unnecessary if they would just

look more into the Methadone program and how it

works for people.  I know it has done wonders for


REP. LAWLOR:  Yolanda, how long has it been since you've

been out of Niantic?

YOLANDA REDIN:  Over three years.  Since I have gotten

clean on the Methadone program.  Deborah who is

with me, she was 17 years out in the streets in New

York and in Hartford.  Once I got clean I knew her

and the bum she was with who was taking half her

stuff and I basically got her out of the shooting

gallery and she has been clean for a couple of

years now.

REP. LAWLOR:  That's great.

YOLANDA REDIN:  And you talk about 17 years of drug use. 

Okay.  She is on Methadone. She's got take homes

like I do.  I've got five take homes from staying

clean.  I am also on 300 milligrams of morphine a

day because of the AIDS and my hepatitis in my

liver.  Clonapin.  It doesn't phase me.  I used it

-- what is that -- three bundles I have it.  I

couldn't get out of bed unless my works and stuff

were ready.

REP. LAWLOR:  And where do you live and where do you

have to go to get your medication?

YOLANDA REDIN:  Obviously, you work the streets in

Hartford.  When they did that five day spread in

the Hartford Court --


YOLANDA REDIN:  -- I agreed to show Mary Otto around

Hartford.  I introduced her to girls only because

it was told to me that they were going to open a

house for the girls where they would have a place

to sleep, rest their head, get a meal because you

would go days -- I used to be like 110 pounds when

I was out there.  Get a meal.  Get some advice

about AIDS.

REP. LAWLOR:  What about now?  Are you getting

medication now or Methadone or anything like that?

YOLANDA REDIN:  I am on a Methadone program.

REP. LAWLOR:  And where do you go to get that?

YOLANDA REDIN:  I go on 345 Main Street.

REP. LAWLOR:  In Hartford?

YOLANDA REDIN:  In Hartford.  

REP. LAWLOR:  And you live in Hartford?

YOLANDA REDIN:  No.  I live in Windsor Locks.

REP. LAWLOR:  Windsor Locks.  Okay.  


REP. LAWLOR:  So how do you get back and forth?  Do you


YOLANDA REDIN:  No.  I get a cab.

REP. LAWLOR:  Every day?

YOLANDA REDIN:  Yes.  Well, I get five take homes.  

REP. LAWLOR:  I see.  I see.  Okay.  

YOLANDA REDIN:  Take home bottles which --

REP. LAWLOR:  Does anyone else have any questions? 

Representative Winkler.

REP. WINKLER:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman and thank you for

coming before us and sharing your story.  I think

you are doing very well. 

YOLANDA REDIN:  Thank you.

REP. WINKLER:You mentioned that going -- when they

locked you up when you going through withdrawal,

that they didn't give you anything --

YOLANDA REDIN:  They won't.  Nobody.

REP. WINKLER:  -- because that nothing showed up in the


YOLANDA REDIN:  Oh, that's once I got into Niantic even

after being -- it was a long holiday weekend, okay. 

I got picked up because I was in the guy's car. 

Detective Hawkins seen me.  He was always behind

me.  But anyway, they followed the car, pulled us

over and -- I mean you would get arrested -- I got

arrested one time for sitting down.  I was eating

some cookies, drinking milk.  Get arrested for

disorderly conduct with intent of prostitution. 

Okay.  They could pick you up just because you are

sitting there.  Any reason.  Or the cops -- if you

read every description of the busts they give,

every one reads the same.  No girl walks up to a

car and propositions herself.  The cop propositions

the girl, you know and then they turn it around to

their liking and put it the way they want.  

But yes, I was -- by the time I got there my urine

showed up clean because I had already spent Friday,

Saturday, Sunday, Monday.  By the fifth day it

doesn't show in your urine.  

REP. WINKLER:  What drug were you on at that time?

YOLANDA REDIN:  I was a three bundle a day user and

cocaine, at least a 16 eight ball a day heroin.

REP. WINKLER:  Because that won't -- that would still

show up in your urine even after five days.  

YOLANDA REDIN:  No, it doesn't.  No, it won't.  I am

sorry, Ma'am.  I hate to disagree with you, but it

doesn't.  After four days it shows up clean.

REP. WINKLER:  That's not what we have heard.  

YOLANDA REDIN:  Well, I am telling you the truth.  I

hear somebody else speaking that agrees with me. 

Seventy-two hours it is out of your urine.  



YOLANDA REDIN:  See.  Thank you.  I would love for

anybody else to ask me anything they would like.  

REP. LAWLOR:  Well, if there is no other questions --

oh. sorry.  Senator Harp.

SEN. HARP:  I am just wondering if you can tell me how

frequent it is that people get sick or even die

because of the way -- of the de-tox that we use in

our correction system.

YOLANDA REDIN:  First of all, when you go in, I mean

what they give you is a joke.  For somebody like me

with the addiction that I had, okay -- from the

time I was 12 I was put into the institute and put

on Thorazine.  I mean, all my life I was drugged up

because I was a ward of the State, but I managed to

stay.  I got married early.  I managed to raise my

children.  I managed to stay with a man and before

I knew it, I just ended up into drugs after I lost

him and it just -- you can't say that it will never

happen to you because it can happen to anybody,


Again, I am sorry -- ask me --

SEN. HARP:  I guess what I was saying is how often is

there an negative reaction to the type of de-tox

that we do?

YOLANDA REDIN:  They give you so little. Okay.  They

give you like 20 milligrams to 25 and they de-tox

you in six days.  So, any time I was there I would

spend a month in the medical unit because I would

go through seizures.  I would get fevers.  They

don't -- I mean with 104 fever, as sick as I was,

especially being HIV, you would have thought they

would put me in the hospital.  The doctor came into

my room once.  The third day of my fever they took

three nurses to hold me up.  They said I had to

walk down the hall in order to get my Methadone.  I

threw it up all over the ground.  It was so

useless.  If it wasn't for a girl who took a chance

and stayed in the room with me to keep an eye on

me, I was dragging myself back and forth to the

bathroom, didn't eat nothing all week and so they

brought -- not a real doctor into see me, you know. 

I didn't consider him a real doctor anyway.  And I

think that -- I don't know.  I think Methadone --

if people who come out -- any girls that have come

out back to the streets, they have nothing, okay. 

I don't have any family that accepts me now,

especially because I am sick.  

So they drop you off at Lafayette Street. They give

you no sense of -- no sense of good feelings or

anything.  You don't get really any counselling in

jail.  So you come back to the streets and dropped

off at Lafayette and it's back to Washington and

Broad, out to make money because you are thinking

about them drugs all the time you are in jail.

Where if I had the Methadone opened to me a long

time ago, I don't think I'd be as sick as I am now. 

And I don't think you should have to suffer in a

cell, you know.  We are not animals. We may be

messed up our lives somewhat, but it doesn't make

us any less of a human.

SEN. HARP:  Thank you.

YOLANDA REDIN:  You are welcome.

REP. LAWLOR:  Thank you very much, Yolanda.

YOLANDA REDIN:  Thank you. 

REP. LAWLOR:  Next is Susan Patrick.  

SUSAN PATRICK:  Thank you.  Yolanda's life is what gets

me up in the morning, determined to prevent this

problem from ever happening.  

I want to thank you for the opportunity to

participate in this hearing today.  My name is

Susan Patrick and I am the President of Drugs Don't

Work which is the Governor's partnership for

Connecticut's workforce.  This organization was

created in 1989 as a public/private partnership

between the State and the private sector with the

goal of levering private sector money towards

solving the problem, which we do by matching the

State's investment in the program. 

We were given the charge to lead the State's

prevention effort, to reduce substance abuse, and

we do this through four operating partnerships that

work with 140 school districts, all the State's

colleges, about 2,400 businesses and 70 media

outlets that donate about $1 million a year of

anti-drug advertising.     

I was also a member of the Alcohol and Drug Policy

Council and Co-chair of the Youth and Families


I would like to introduce the two young women who

are with me today that will be speaking with me. 

Laura Baum is a senior at North Haven High School

and a member of the Drugs Don't Work Youth Advisory

Committee and Dana Sanetti to my immediate right,

is a sophomore at Bunnell High School in Stratford

and also a member of the Youth Advisory Committee.

We are here today because we care deeply about the

affects on drug use on young people and the

citizens of Connecticut.

I would like to particularly focus my remarks on

the issue of prevention and on the problem as it

relates to young people.  I would like to offer

some general observations in relationship to the

three reports that have come before the two

committees.  The reports taken together represent

an extraordinary analysis of the State's current

substance abuse policies and opportunities.  David

Biklen, in particular, has created a report that

will be used as a reference tool in the field for

years to come.  

One of the things that was most striking to me,

however, was the assumption that the current drug

policy is not effective.  As you heard earlier,

drug use has come down by about 50% and is staying

down in adults.  Teen abstinent rates actually

increased, doubled from 7% to 14% during the period

1979 to the early 90's.  

Most of this reduction probably can be attributed

to increased funding for prevention and law

enforcement that took place during this period.  In

spite of these successes, the recent increases in

teen drug use and the escalating costs of the

criminal justice system are good reasons to stop

and look at our drug policy.  I am encouraging you

and us not to take too narrow a view of the State's

drug policy issues.  It's important to consider all

the harms and costs associated with these issues. 

Health care costs, for example, which are driven

primarily by tobacco and alcohol use are legal

drugs will exceed $1 trillion over the next 20

years.  In Medicare alone, substance abuse

associated hospitalization costs top $20 billion in

1994.  They account for about 25% of our total

expenditure of Medicare, of the Medicare fund.  

While criminal justice costs might be reduced by

new policies that would lower the penalties for the

possession of marijuana, we should also consider

how these policies might drive up health care


Among youth age 12 to 17, marijuana related medical

emergencies have more than tripled in the last five

years.  Further, we have yet to experience the

longer term health affects of marijuana.  It's

estimated by some researchers that each marijuana

joint is as carcinogenic as ten to twenty

cigarettes and I mentioned earlier that cigarette

smoking is probably the biggest drain on the

Medicare trust fund.

We also have to consider the cost of substance

abuse in relationship to our work force.  How much

will business loses increase if marijuana use

becomes even more wide spread than it is now? 

Seventy-five percent of substance abusers are

currently employed and substance abuse costs

America's businesses close to $100 billion


It is interesting to note that the drug most

associated with crime and with violent crime is

actually the legal drug, alcohol.  Thirty-nine

percent of violent crimes, the ones most feared by

the public, the ones that call for your responses,

are committed under the influence of alcohol

compared to 24% committed under the influence of

illegal drugs.

Alcohol is implicated in 18% of murders, 15% of

rapes, 17% of assaults and 15% of robberies,

resulting in 400 deaths and over a million, almost

two million crime victims each year.  

Given that the three reports find room for

significant improvement in current policy, we must

carefully consider what policy options will return

the highest value for the State's investment.  

While there are many excellent recommendations

contained in the reports, I was distressed that

while all three reports called for a shift in

policy towards public health and prevention,

education, and treatment, only the alcohol and drug

policy council report contained substantive

recommendations related to prevention.  In some

ways, prevention was as overlooked in the reports

as it has been in the State's policy during the 17

years that I have been working in the State.

It is very disturbing because prevention is the

most cost effective approach of all returning $14

to $15 for each dollar invested.  This is double

the return of the $7 for each dollar invested of

treatment.  It is estimated that we will save

between $300,000 - $800,000 over the lifetime for

each young person that we keep from using drugs.   

In spite of this cost effectiveness ratio,

substance abuse prevention spending across all

agencies as detailed in the prevention budget,

totalled only $10 million.  This compares to a

Corrections budget of over $300 million.

As you can see from the charts --

REP. LAWLOR:  Four hundred million.

SUSAN PATRICK:  Oh, it's gone up since then.  Right.  As

you can see from the charts I provided in the

information packages there is a direct correlation

between the rates of teen drug use and juvenile

drug offenses and the level of spending on


The increasing transit in teen drug use as I

mentioned, in eight grade marijuana use, for an

example, is tripled, occurred immediately after

federal and state prevention funds were cut in the

early 1990's.  I my own organization, our funding

fell by 75% in just three years as a result of cuts

in the safe and drug free schools acts, schools

laid off health educators. They laid off substance

abuse counselors.  And so we are seeing that wave

of young people who did not receive the intensive

kinds of prevention programs that we had early in

the 80's.  

Not only is prevention the most cost effective

approach, it is also the approach most supported by

the public.  In a 1995 Gallup Poll prevention

received twice as much support as criminal justice

as the preferred public policy option and ten times

as much support as treatment, in terms of long term


And the end of my remarks I will make a couple of

recommendations for things I think we can do to

increase this emphasis on prevention.  But before I

do that I want us to just also consider the

unanticipated and unintended consequences of some

of our drug policies.

As you will hear from Laura and Dana in a minute,

recommendations to reduce penalties for marijuana

and to prescribe marijuana for medical purposes

have a profound effect on young people contributing

to a growing belief that marijuana is a harmless


The Program Review and Investigations Committee

report points to increasing social acceptance, easy

availability, decreased costs, and increased

strength as key factors in the marijuana use

increase among our young people.  If our lack of

success in keeping cigarettes and alcohol out of

the hands of our youth is any indicator,  I think

it is pretty reasonable to assume that if marijuana

is grown legally by adults for medical reasons, it

will make its way into the hands of kids.  

While I don't have time today to review the facts

about the harms associated with marijuana, I've

provided that information in your packets.  At the

same time that the harms of marijuana have been

documented in over 10,000 studies, there is not one

reliable study that proves that marijuana is the

most effectatious medical treatment for the

conditions for which it is being considered.  Now I

am not saying that marijuana has no medical use at

all.  What I would suggest though is that even if

there is medical value in marijuana, is it worth

the price?  Is it worth the price of a generation

of young people who see it as a harmless drug? 

Already one in twenty high school seniors are

smoking pot on a daily basis.  

Kids who smoke pot are eighty-five times more

likely to use cocaine.  

By fiscal year 1993, the percent of teens in

treatment from marijuana surpassed those involved

with alcohol and marijuana was the most frequently

used illegal drug by juvenile arrestees.

In light of all this, I would like to make the

following recommendations.

New prevention policy options, soundly grounded in

research, must be developed.  The recommendations

that are in some of the reports are a good start. 

We need a total overhaul of the school drug

prevention programs.  Many of them are outdated. 

They are inconsistently implemented and they are

not responsive in many cases to the needs of young


While schools cannot solely be held accountable for

solving the teen drug problem, as we have asked

them to be in the past, they can and must be held

accountable for identifying and intervening with

kids who use at school.  Five percent of junior

high students and eleven percent of high school

students say they use drugs at school, during the

day, on school property.  Eight percent of junior

high students and seventeen percent of high school

students say they attend classes under the

influence of drugs.  

The generational -- another recommendation is that

we must interrupt the generational cycle of

addiction by targeting intensive prevention

services to those youth who are at the highest risk

by virtue of a parent who is incarcerated in a

treatment or abusive.  


As you all know, these problems repeat themselves

from one generation to the next.  We have the

opportunity by targeting prevention services to

those kids whose parents are already in our system

so we can easily identify them of interrupting that

generational repetition.  

We also need earlier identification and

intervention with youth.  The longer the problem is

allowed to progress, as you know, the more

expensive and difficult it is to treat.  One

dilemma is that health care currently does not

cover these intervention services, however.  The

vast majority of juveniles and adults who are

currently in our criminal justice and treatment

systems, used drugs for many years before arrest

and for the most part, began as teenagers.  If

thirteen percent of Connecticut's 7th graders and

twenty-eight percent of our 11th graders are

getting drunk on a weekly basis, why aren't the

adults seeing it and doing something about it?  How

have we allowed things to progress to the point

that one in twenty high school seniors is using pot

on a daily basis?  That's harmful use by any


Parents, school personnel, and youth workers must

be trained to recognize these warning signs and

take appropriate actions.  Physicians and health

care providers must be trained.

REP. LAWLOR:  Susan, -- there are a lot of people signed

up to testify.


REP. LAWLOR:  So we have to get to the students and to

the other people.

SUSAN PATRICK:  Okay.  Because of these factors for drug

use another recommendation is because the risk

factors for drug risk are the same as those for

delinquency and for other teen problems like

pregnancy, teen pregnancy, youth violence, truancy

and dropping out of school, we lose a really

incredible opportunity for maximum prevention

efficiency by not integrating these programs and

having commonly defined outcomes.  

Finally, we need to try new research based

approaches like mentoring, peer taught drug

education and parent involvement.

I would also like to suggest that you consider

requiring that prevention services be incorporated

into state managed care contracts that we create

and test case management and intervention models

that link schools, community agencies, and the

police and that we test public health based

environmental approaches to reducing use of the

legal drugs among young people.

I will cut my remarks at this point so that we will

have time to hear from Laura and then Dana.

Thanks.  Will she be able to be heard from this



LAURA BAUM:  Okay.  Thanks. My name is Laura Baum and I

have been an active member of the Drugs Don't Work

Youth Advisory Committee for two years.

I am here to talk about the drug use that is

becoming so prevalent among my peers.

I could stand here and tell you that drug use among

8th graders alone has more than tripled in the last

five years.  I could tell you that one in four

children betweens the ages of 9 and 12 was offered

drugs in 1996.  I can tell you that 68% of 17 year

olds can buy marijuana in less than a day. 

However, I am not going to continue to list


Instead, I am going to talk about some of the

issues and concerns that young people face relating

to drugs and about some of their recommendations in

solving this problem that affects their lives and

the lives of their peers.

On May 22, 1996 the Governor's Youth Summit on

Drugs was held at Trinity College.  One hundred and

thirty-six youths and thirty-nine adults from 47

schools and 31 towns gathered to discuss teen drug

use.  The participants had small discussion groups

facilitated by youth in which they discussed their

concerns and recommendations for actions.

The young people shared their concerns about

increased drug use by youth, early initiation of

drug use by younger students, the need for

increased prevention and intervention, adults

ignoring the drug crisis, and not taking it

seriously enough, adults, schools, and communities

not consistently enforcing drug policy and laws,

and punishment not being enough to solve drug abuse

- that drug abusers need help and support to change

their behavior.

Young people recognize that parents are not always

supportive and proper role models for their

children.  Parents may feel that they have provided

information about the dangers of drug use, when

they have not.  Parents may also not realize how

available drugs are.  Only 7% of parents believe

that their children have been offered drugs, but

24% of children report being offered illicit


Some parents do not realize what an affect they

have as role models of their children.  Thus, the

young people of the summit felt it necessary to

educate parents to talk to their kids earlier, more

frequently, and more seriously in addition to

telling them to model healthy behaviors.

The young people also expressed concern about

schools handling the drug problem.  They want

schools to take the drug problem more seriously and

to enforce drug policies consistently when young

people use drugs.  Inconsistent enforcement gives

mixed messages to students, parents and the


A recommendation for the community included

increased enforcement laws and increased penalties

for drug violators.  The young people then noted

that laws that aren't enforced give youth mixed

messages.  They also felt that there should be more

drug free alternatives for youth.

The young people also said at the summit, that we,

as youth, need a more active say, a full voice in

helping to solve the drug problem.  Parents, the

community, the government, and the media need to

come together with youth to target this drug


A main contributing factor in the increased drug

abuse by young people is that many of them do not

realize the dangers of a drug like marijuana. 

There is less social disapproval of drugs as

children are less likely to believe that people are

on drugs are affected and act in stupid ways. 

Also, many young people have recognized a growing

and unfortunate tolerance for drugs in society.

Another factor that leads to an increase in drug

use is that children are receiving less information

about the dangers of drugs from a variety of

different sources, particularly in the mass media. 

When children were asked if they learned a lot

about the dangers of drugs from t.v. shows, news

and movies, only 44% responded yes in 1996 compared

to 53% in 1993.

The bottom line is that we cannot send mixed and

confusing messages to our young.  We must show them

that drugs are dangerous and that there are severe

consequences for people who abuse drugs.  There are

68 million people age 18 and below.  If we pretend

that pot is just another insignificant choice in

their lives, we make their decision to stay off

drugs that much harder.  It should be apparent to

young people that there are ramifications for the

illicit use of drugs.  Other young people have

called upon policy makers to make their schools and

neighborhoods safer, to rid them of drug offenders. 

We cannot let our young people continue to abuse

drugs anymore.  Students may get the incorrect

impression that a drug like marijuana isn't

dangerous, but then they succumb to the dangers of

the drug and perhaps other drugs like heroin and

cocaine since marijuana is a gate (INAUDIBLE) drug. 

We cannot continue to let our youth believe this. 

They must be told and reminded that drugs are

dangerous to us.  

Thank you.  

REP. LAWLOR:  Where do you go to school?

LAURA BAUM:  North Haven High School.

REP. LAWLOR:  And where do kids buy drugs at North Haven

High School?

LAURA BAUM:  I think that drugs are easily accessible

from the peers within the school.  That is really

easy to just go up to someone in the hall and get


REP. LAWLOR:  And do you know what the penalties are for

possessing drugs in Connecticut?

LAURA BAUM:  I don't know exactly.  

REP. LAWLOR:  Take a guess.  What do you think --

LAURA BAUM:  I really don't feel like I have the --

REP. LAWLOR:  Because I was asking because you mentioned

a couple of times that the penalties aren't high

enough and stuff like that.

LAURA BAUM:  Well, I mean, I think that the bigger issue

with the penalties -- a big issue with the

penalties is that they are not enforced and that

kids -- my peers don't realize that they are

enforced even if they are.

REP. LAWLOR:  Have any friends of yours ever gotten

arrested for selling or having drugs or anything

like that?

LAURA BAUM:  Of course.

REP. LAWLOR:  And what happened to them?

LAURA BAUM:  I've seen them in school.

REP. LAWLOR:  But what do you think should happen to


LAURA BAUM:  I think that they should have penalties,

whether --

REP. LAWLOR:  Like what?

LAURA BAUM:  Like perhaps fines and jail and then

prevention afterwards so that it doesn't continue

in a bad cycle.

REP. LAWLOR:  Okay.  I'm sorry.  There might be some

other questions here.  Yes.

DANA SANETTI:  My name is Dana Sanetti.  I am 16 years

old.  I am a sophomore at Bunnell High School in

Stratford.  This is my first year in Drugs Don't

Work Youth Advisory Committee.

I think that it's important to treat substance

abuse, but preventing kids from even starting is

the like the most important.

A big -- my big thing is that parent/child

communication needs to be enforced.  Parents need

to talk to their kids about drugs.  They need to be

informed.  They need to know what's going on.

Only 40% of the parents think they have no

influence on their child's drug decision.  That's -

- they have to know what they are talking about and

they have to talk to their kids frequently. 

Ninety-five percent of parents said they have had a

serious talk with their kids, but only 77% of teens

say that -- agree and remember the talk.  

It can't just be once.  It has to be over and it

has to be frequent and it has to be a serious thing

and it has to be something that parents and kids

feel they can talk about openly.  

Education, I think, needs to start very early and

it has to continue on through high school.  Drug

use can begin sometimes as early as 6th or 7th

grade. To me, that's pretty scary.  In 5th grade we

had the D.A.R.E. Program and that seemed to work

pretty well, but then in junior high, I couldn't

even tell you where my health class was or who

taught it.  I mean, I don't -- let alone what I

learned.  There needs -- something needs to be

looked at there.  It's -- in high school we only

have a health class in freshman and senior year and

there is an adult standing up in front of the class

and preaching to us about the affects.  I think

something that would help would be to have a senior

or a junior maybe teach a class to the freshmen or

sophomores. When kids talk to kids it seems more

real and it doesn't seem as though they are

preaching.  Kids need to learn the effects of

drugs, but also how to cope with these situations

and how to cope with the pressure.  

Kids can know all the affects and everything that

it will do to them, but unless they know what to do

in those situations, it's not going to work.  I

mean if a friend offers you something, if they are

a good friend, then you are probably going to take

it regardless of what you've been taught.  

They need to know what to do and how to cope with

those kinds of situations.  

As I said, I think kids teaching kids is a very

good idea.  Early teens, I think, is when we

realize that we can -- even if authority figures

say that we shouldn't do something we can still

kind of do it and usually get away with it without

punishment.  So -- I mean something -- we need to

have not like an adult telling us what to do, a kid

is - it just sounds more real when it's coming from

another kid.  We kind of like listen to our own

kind, I guess.

When the laws and consequences in my school -- I

mean, I don't -- the people that I hang out with

are not involved with drugs, and I don't even know

what happens.  I don't even know what the

consequences are, which to me shows you that it's

not something -- I mean, I don't know about it. I

don't know what happens so I think it needs to be

enforced and people need to know what happens to

you if you get caught.  I know that I've seen --

you can get illegal drugs in my school, but I don't

think enough is being done about it. I don't think

the kids know what can happen to them.  I think it

needs to be enforced more.  It needs to be more


REP. SCALETTAR:  Can I ask you a question?  As you are

discussing that, what about tobacco?  Is that a

problem in your school?  Do you see kids smoking

outside or in school?

DANA SANETTI:  Kids -- there are always kids smoking

outside before and after school.  And in the

bathrooms during school it happens, not as much as

before and after, though.

REP. SCALETTAR:  But you think a lot of kids are


DANA SANETTI:  Yes.  There is like little spots where

everybody goes.  During school I think it's not as

much of a problem, but it is there and I mean -- I

don't know what happens to kids when they get

caught smoking on school grounds during the school

hours.  I think that --

REP. SCALETTAR:  Why do you think they are smoking?


REP. SCALETTAR:  Haven't you had a lot of programs in

education in school about the dangers of tobacco? I

would think people your age have heard this quite a

few times.

DANA SANETTI:  We know the effects and we know what it

does to you, but once -- I think once you start,

the effects don't matter anymore.  It doesn't

matter -- you know it's not going to happen to me

is what everybody thinks.

REP. SCALETTAR:  Thank you.  

DANA SANETTI:  I think the laws can't be -- if the laws

are not --- don't become as strict -- if they even

like ease up on the laws, more kids are going to

just think of marijuana as a harmless drug and

that's not what it is at all and that's not the

image that I think marijuana should project.

If they see more people getting into trouble for

it, then that kind of image will stick in the minds

like if they actually see it happening, actually

seeing the consequences that would help, but I

don't think they ever do. 

REP. LAWLOR:  Senator Harp and then Senator Gunther. 

Representative Nardello.  

SEN. HARP:  I just wanted to ask you, as well, if the

kids in your school deal the drugs in school so

that anyone can come up in your school and purchase

drugs right there as with the young lady at North

Haven High School?

DANA SANETTI:  Like if I went up to somebody and asked

if I could get it right there on the spot?

SEN. HARP:  Yeah.  Are there people that deal drugs

inside the school building?  Or do they have --

where do the kids go to get the drugs in your

school, I guess is the question I am asking?

DANA SANETTI:  It happens more outside of school than

inside the school.  I think I wouldn't -- I don't

think I would be able to go up to somebody and just

ask and be able to get it right there on the spot,

but I have seen --  I think it's like more or a

pre-arranged kind of thing and they just kind of

get it in school. It's not something that -- it's

not a big issue in my school.  I mean, I've seen it

once or twice.

SEN. HARP:  Have you seen more people smoking cigarettes

before and after school than you have actually seen

using drugs in your school?  I am just curious?

DANA SANETTI:  Yes.  More people smoke than -- I mean, I

don't normally see people using drugs in my school. 

Just is it when people are smoking before and after

school, it's just right there in your face.  You

can't miss it. 

SEN. HARP:  And your knowing about the level of

substance abuse in your school is based upon

personal knowledge or statistics that you've heard

from the leadership in your school or that your

school district or from your participation on the

council that you sit on?

DANA SANETTI:  It's mostly personal knowledge and

information that I get from this council.

SEN. HARP:  And how many -- but you don't know anybody

who actually does it in school is what I thought I

heard you say.  So what percentage of people would

you guess are doing it in your school?

DANA SANETTI:  In my school?  Like during school hours,

people that are using -- I don't know, five to ten

percent.  It's not a big percentage.

SEN. HARP:  Do you know kids in your school who are

drinking alcohol?


SEN. HARP:  And what percent would those be, do you


DANA SANETTI:  Oh, over 50%.

SEN. HARP:  Over 50%?

DANA SANETTI:  Yeah.  I would say 60 or 65 percent.

SEN. HARP:  Okay.  Thank you.  

SEN. GUNTHER:  You mentioned that you didn't know when

your classes were on the drug abuse and that.  They

don't put notices up on the board as to when your

class -- you mentioned you didn't know when your

classes in drug -- in substance abuse were.

DANA SANETTI:  Oh, in junior high school we had a health

class for a half a year.  Those classes -- I mean,

I don't remember anything about those classes.  I

don't remember learning anything.  I don't remember

where they were, who taught them -- I mean, my

point being it didn't have a great impact on me at

all and that -- I mean, I think it should.

SEN. GUNTHER:  You don't remember who taught it?  It

wasn't the nurse? It was another teacher?  You have

no recollection?

DANA SANETTI:  I really don't.

SEN. GUNTHER:  How about now in high school, are you

getting any specific training?

DANA SANETTI:  As I said, I am a sophomore.  We only

have a health class freshman and senior years.  So

right now, I don't have any kind of --

SEN. GUNTHER:  So you have no class at all? Nobody is

teaching you anything about what's going on in the

real world out there?

DANA SANETTI:  Only freshmen and senior year.

SEN. GUNTHER:  There is no real program -- I see you

looking -- are you surprised at this, by any chance

or --

SUSAN PATRICK:  I would just like to comment on that

actually.  I think one of the things that happened

a couple of years ago was that the statutes were

changed so that the State Department of Education

no longer went out and did compliance to assure

that schools were teaching.

I also want to say though that the current statutes

that require that we teach kids drug education

every grade level may not be the best approach. 

There was a famous quote that is one of my favorite

quotes that says that education is the cure only

insofar as ignorance is the disease.  And these

kids know the affects of drugs by the time they are

in late elementary school.  I think what we need is

a different approach which is why we are

recommending that we re-evaluate what we are doing. 

The State of California, for example, has gone to a

statewide mentoring initiative as part of their

drug prevention effort.  You can teach these

affects year after year after year, but by the time

the kids have heard them four or five times, they

are tuning out which is why they don't remember it


So I really think we need to look at - and that's

what we plan to spend this year doing which is

going out and conducting hearings and doing focus

groups to hear from the young people, their parents

and the educators what is working, what is not

working, what should we be doing differently and

really looking at the research is about what is

effective drug prevention.  

SEN. GUNTHER:  Well I am surprised that they don't know

whose teaching and they don't have even in the peer

side of it, even if it's not the young people doing

it, at least that our educational system,

apparently with the stats I heard this morning,

went through out drug policy committee meetings and

heard how things are getting much worse and that

type of thing that whatever we are doing now

apparently is not doing the job.  That's for damned


And I have great criticisms that the educational

system has failed miserably in teaching the young

people anything about it so that whatever program

has been up to now, and if we are going to continue

on just bringing in the educational system and have

them teach, to me, being in the professions, I

would say it's a health problem.  Health providers

ought to at least give them the real meat and then

let the young people, maybe their own peers, take

and do something about it, but the education system

is not doing it.

SUSAN PATRICK:  I would like to remind people though

that the drug use rate did fall by 50% among both

adults and young people when we first began the

drug prevention program.  

SEN. GUNTHER:  Was that in the 80's?

SUSAN PATRICK:  That was in the 80's, but then all that

funding was cut so schools let a lot of those

people go that were doing that work.  So I think

that has something -- plus the approaches that were

effective when we started this fifteen years ago,

are not -- are now outdated and so we are not

keeping up with the latest research.

SEN. HARP:  Thank you.  Representative Nardello.

REP. NARDELLO:  Thank you very much.  First, I would

like to thank you for coming here because I think

it's extremely important that you are involved in

this effort and I think that sometimes we sit up

here trying to make the decisions for a group that

we have very little to relate to and I think your

input is extremely important.

Regarding -- just before I forget one, I address

Senator Gunther's health issues.  As a health

educator having a degree in health education, I can

tell you that the emphasis on the health education

has actually decreased over the years, Senator


If you look at the City of Hartford, because of

budget cuts, there used to be about 23 health

educators.  There are now 7 to serve the entire

city.  I think it may even be less than 7 at this

point.  And what you've got is that curriculum

component for health is being put on teachers who

have many other curriculum demands that health

becomes a very small part of the curriculum that is

not emphasized and you are asking them to do

something that they are truly not prepared for

because you don't have the person that has the

background in health education.

And we, as a State, do not mandate any type of

health education and that's part of the problem, as


But the thing that I wanted to ask you that I was

concerned about, was the fact that as you gave your

statistics, you said 25% of the people are using

drugs and 75% of the people probably are not.  

Can you identify for me what's the difference

between the first group and the second group?  From

your perspective, how do you see these kids over

here that are not using drugs, what's one of the

biggest differences and these kids here that are

using drugs?

LAURA BAUM:  I think that a lot of it comes from the

home, obviously and that people who do abuse drugs

either come from families where it's not -- where

it's accepted or where they don't have the kind of

relationship with their parents where they can talk

about it.

I think it's a matter of the education or schools

target certain kinds of people, generally and that

the people who need it most may not be the ones who

it is affecting.  And so then they end up as

abusers of drugs.  

I think that -- you know, that there are a lot of

things that separate why someone uses drugs.  I

think the media plays a huge role and that people

need to -- students need to know how to -- to know

that what they hear on the media may not be the

best way and that things that are glamorized in the

media are not necessarily what is right for them.

DAWN SANETTI:  Also something as simple as the

activities that somebody does after school.  You

can't like force anybody to do like an activity

they don't want to do like a sport that they don't

want to do, but if they are involved in something

it leads them away and there is something else to

do besides going out and doing something illegal.  

Last year I was on the spring tennis team and one

girl was on it for a couple of weeks, but then she

quit because her friends didn't want her to do it

anymore and like she smoked so like she couldn't

play very well.  So I mean I try and do sports and

I know that if I do any kind of drugs that it will

hurt when I try to do my best at.  So I mean the

activities that people do and it is just something

else to do and another reason not to do illegal


REP. NARDELLO:  And I also have a question regarding do

you feel that in that decision, that first decision

to engage in illicit drugs, you are going to make

that decision, you are going to say, I think this

is a good thing, I am going to try it.  Do you

think that pressure from peers is what brings

people to that decision or do you think that that's

something they personally choose?

DAWN SANETTI:  I think that peers have a tremendous

impact on their -- on other students and if that

people, not only in the -- we -- as many people

think of it as the do drugs, you'll be cool, but if

they are just hanging out with people who do them

or see people who are doing drugs and feel like

they would be a minority by not doing drugs and

that there would be something wrong with them by

not doing drugs and that kind of peer pressure has

a tremendous affect.

REP. NARDELLO:  And do you think it would be effective

if we had more students -- I was intrigued by your

mentoring comment because I do think that that is

an important component that's missing out of the

health education component.  Changing health

behaviors as I think we can all acknowledge up here

is a very difficult thing, albeit it smoking,

drugs, or whatever it may be.  It is probably one

of the most difficult things to do because it is a

lifestyle change and the mentoring aspect seems to

me that if you could speak to other students, if

you could get them involved and say to them, come

on the tennis team - come on swimming -- let's do

some other things, that would probably be more

successful than some of the things in terms of


The information needs to be brought out as well,

but I think that should be an adjunct.

SUSAN PATRICK:  The latest research says --

REP. NARDELLO:  I would like to ask the girls if they

thing that though.

SUSAN PATRICK:  Oh, I am sorry.

LAURA BAUM:  I agree.  I think that an adult getting up

and preaching in front of a class doesn't work and

I think -- I mean it works early on and I think it

-- I mean like in the D.A.R.E. Program and

everything it works, but I mean like I said, we all

start to realize that we can disagree with an adult

and usually get away with it and everything.  But

if it comes from a kid -- if it comes from another

kid whose pretty much close to our age group, it

sounds more real and it sounds like they know more

what they are talking about and I mean sometimes

they can even give personal experiences or -- and

it sounds like they know more what they are talking

about -- I mean, it has a bigger impact if you hear

kids talk.

REP. NARDELLO:  Thank you very much.  I really

appreciate your input.  I would like you to

continue to do so and I would like you to get more

of your friends involved, as well, both those that

do and don't engage.

SEN. HARP:  Thank you.  Do we have further questions? 

Yes, Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL:  You are describing these things that you

think would -- the mentoring and that sort of thing

would work.  Is this based on other programs where

that has been successful that you've had experience

with in your school systems or seen some other kind

of context?  I don't mean necessarily drug

programs, but on some other subjects?  Why are you

-- other than just kind of an intuitive sense that

you would take more seriously something that is

said to you by someone your own age, do you have

the impression that this has worked a change in

other areas?  Or in the drug area?

LAURA BAUM:  I think from personal experience, I've seen

that people are more inclined -- students are more

inclined to listen to their peers.  We've had some

older students come back to the high school and

talk about issues that have affected -- drugs being

included, as well as other issues.  And just from

students hearing it, from someone else who is like

had the same experiences so recently and knows what

it's like to go to high school in the 1990's is

really important.  Also, being -- I am a mentor for

an elementary school student in New Haven and I --

you know, being part of the programs like that, I

can see that it just makes a difference when you

can relate to the younger person and there's

certain health teachers in our school -- I think

there is even like - you know you just walk in

there will immediate disrespect because you know

who the person is and for whatever reason, you may

not like him and therefore you are not going to

listen to him all year.  But if it is a variety of

students who you respect, then it can be a lot more


DAWN SANETTI:  Also another member of Drugs Don't Work

Committee, in her high school she says that the

seniors do go out and I think they teach like

freshman and sophomore health classes and it seems

to work very well and the students enjoy it much

more and they learn a lot more.  So it has worked


SUSAN PATRICK:  The research also supports that those

have better results.  The newest research on

effective drug prevention says that there are three

factors that distinguish the kids who use from

those who don't.  Kids who have a significant older

person in their life who believes in them, kids who

have something that they are successful at, and

things who have positive, pro-social kinds of

activities that they can be engaged in that are

alternatives to getting into these other kinds of


And we don't have those approaches systematized

through our drug prevention efforts in the State at


REP. O'NEILL:  But I mean -- are all three components

need to be in place for -- okay.


REP. O'NEILL:  Because I mean supposing number two there

on the list -- I mean we could probably try to find

some other adult or an older person to takes an

interest, but we are not always going to make

people successful at something.  I mean we can give

them other activities.  We can take care of number

three, but we can't guarantee that you are going to

find some sort of activity that you are going to be

successful at unless you are defining success other

than winning the 100 yard dash or something.  If

you are just saying success is -- you completed the

program or you showed in up, in some way.

SUSAN PATRICK:  Well, I think what the research is

saying that every child needs to be successful at

something in order to have a belief in themselves

and to have some sense of hope for the future and

you are right, it may not be academic, it may not

be athletics, and in those cases, we really need to

work to identify what are the strengths and

abilities of that child and build on that.  

One of the most powerful effects of mentoring is

when the kids themselves become the mentors.  So

you can take a troubled young person, for example,

pair them with a younger person where now they are

a positive person instead of the negative view that

they have of themselves.  So I do believe that

there are ways to structure those success

opportunities for kids, but it takes some extra

thinking and effort.  It doesn't come naturally for

every child.

REP. O'NEILL:  Okay.  I think -- I am sorry, I didn't

get your name.  So the lady in green.  


REP. O'NEILL:  I don't remember you answering the

question that was asked about the kinds of drugs

that might be in your school.  Are we talking about

or did you because I was distracted at various


LAURA BAUM:  No. Go ahead.

REP. O'NEILL:  So, when you are talking about drugs, are

we talking about predominantly marijuana or are

there other things, cocaine, heroin, psychedelic,

what are we talking about?  Or alcohol?

LAURA BAUM:  I think that the most -- I think that all

of these -- that there are people in my school who

use all of the drugs.  But the most prevalent drug

that I see during the school day is definitely

tobacco and it is abused, it sounds like a lot more

than in Dana's school.  You cannot walk into the

bathrooms in my school and -- without -- you know,

being totally enveloped in smoke and cigarettes and

so that is very prevalent. People smoke all day. 

People get caught and then they have -- there have

been times when teachers have taken pictures of

students with cigarettes in their mouths and the

parent will say, "Oh my kid doesn't smoke

cigarettes."  There are people who just find ways

to get around it.  So smoking is the most

prevalent.  Alcohol use is very prevalent and then

-- people smoke - I've noticed a big change from

9th to 12th grade in my high school experience.

When I was in 9th grade people were smoking

cigarettes outside.  Then they started smoking

cigarettes in school and now I see pot in the

parking lot a lot too. 

So I think there are a wide variety of drugs.  

REP. O'NEILL:  Is the pot in the parking lot a new or

more recent innovation or is that sort of -- you

were describing several progressions of tobacco

outside -- tobacco inside and now pot outside.  So

was the pot outside before or you just didn't

notice it?

LAURA BAUM:  I don't know if I didn't notice it.  It is

definitely becoming more apparent.

REP. O'NEILL:  Thank you.  

REP. LAWLOR:  Our newest colleague.

REP. MANTILLA:  Can you say my name?

REP. LAWLOR:  Evelyn Mantilla.

REP. MANTILLA:  Thank you.  Thank you.  I apologize for

having to step away for a minute.  I have a couple

of questions and I may have missed part of the

train of thought that we were in the middle of

right now, but I was looking with interest to at

your statistics on the success of prevention. How

successful has prevention been and I see these

interesting numbers and charts that show us that

where we have spent more money on prevention. We've

had less arrests and so forth and so on.

I represent the 4th district in Hartford which

clearly is also one of the poorest districts and

also represent large African-American and Latino

communities.  I was interested in asking if you

know of any data that maybe similar to this, but

with a cut on race and ethnicity?  I would be very

interested in finding out more as to how our

prevention programs, what we do have, or where we

have made such efforts may have made a difference,

one way or the other, based on race and ethnicity.

SUSAN PATRICK:  Yes, I can send you some information on

that and I will do that.  

One of the things, for example, that the

Partnership for a Drug Free America did was an

intensive media campaign in New York City aimed

specifically at African-American young people and

at the time that the drug use in the rest of the

country started going up, it stayed down in those


The data also shows that urban children have lower

rates of drug use than suburban children and the

newest survey on the attitudes shows that the

higher the income level, the more positive the

attitudes are toward illegal drugs.  So the lower

the income level, the more negatively kids very

drugs.  Also, the more affluent the family, the

less likely they are to believe that their children

will do drugs, which I am sure then influences the

kids' attitudes.

REP. MANTILLA:  Just for clarification, let me

understand this really clearly.  You said that the

difference between urban youth using substance and

suburban youth using substance is actually higher

for the suburban --

SUSAN PATRICK:  Suburban have higher rates.  Now part of

that may be because there is a higher drop out rate

and drop outs are more likely to be drug involved.

So it is really -- but there are also some other

studies that have been done of the drop out

populations that, I think, are also in some of the

reports, but in general the rates seemed to be

higher in suburban communities than they are in

urban communities.

REP. MANTILLA:  That is very interesting.

SUSAN PATRICK:  We also found that from the survey we

did of school violence, for example, there were

more fights and weapons in rural and suburban than

there were in urban which is a surprise.

REP. MANTILLA:  Not to all of us.  It's not.  I am very

excited to see the work that the advisory committee

with the youth is doing so I would be interested in

the same vein then to ask, how large is the actual

advisory committee with youth like you


How many members do you have?

LAURA BAUM:   There are about 20 members of the Youth

Advisory Council.

REP. MANTILLA:  Great!  And do you have somewhat of a

representation of Latino and African-American kids?



LAURA BAUM:  There is line range of geographic --


LAURA BAUM:  - race, everything.

REP. MANTILLA:  Good.  Good.  Great.

SUSAN PATRICK:  We always welcome new members if you

have someone you would like to recommend.  

REP. MANTILLA:  Give me a call.


SEN. HARP:  This is sort of on the same vein and maybe

it's more of a reflection or a comment, it's

interesting to me that there are higher incidents

of drug use among kids in suburbia and yet there's

higher arrests of kids in urban areas.  And that

the prisons tend to look pretty much like me and

Representative Mantilla and that their complaints

in suburban schools based upon what the young lady

said that there aren't arrests made there when

there are drugs dealt.

I don't know.  That is just kind on a interesting

thing to reflect upon.

SUSAN PATRICK:  It's very typical in suburban

communities for parents to raise such a stink that

nothing happens.  They don't like to be told that

their kids are drug involved.

SEN. HARP:  Representative Farr.

REP. FARR:  I just wanted to make one comment.  Your

comment on what's effective in terms of prevention

of drugs.  I spent a lot of time on the issue of

teen pregnancy and the reality is that those same

things that prevent drug addiction also prevent

teenage pregnancy. 

SUSAN PATRICK:  Which is why I think we need a state

prevention plan so that all these things are

working in concert.

SEN. HARP:  Thank you very much.  

Debbie Blesso is our next speaker.

DEBBIE BLESSO:  Thank you for letting me speak.  I have

never done this before so I am a little scared and


I don't have a speech or nothing so I am going to

speak from the heart and my experiences.

I was (INAUDIBLE) for seventeen years and I was on

the streets most of that time in and out of my

mother's house to change and go back out.  I have

done a lot of things that I'm ashamed of, but I had

to do what I had to do to support my habit.  And a

lot of people, high up people like yourselves don't

know what it is like unless you go through it or

know somebody who has been going through it because

it really -- the streets are bad.  There's not no

place for nobody to be.  

And if it wasn't for this person here that helped

me get off the street, and the man upstairs, I'd be

dead because I should have died many times doing

what I was doing out there, but -- jail is a joke. 

I was in and out of jail for like ten years of my

life.  During it started to get better because I

was trying to get help for myself.  They send you

out of jail with a packet, condoms, okay.  And with

no money, with nothing.  They drive you right back

in the area, drug area, matter of fact, around the

corner from it, Lafayette Street.  What's a person

going to do?  You can't go home.  You don't want

your mother seeing you like that.  You are going to

go back to the same things you were doing before so

you are going to end up back in jail.  Okay.  So

it's a big joke to me, jail is.  It doesn't help

you at all. They de-tox you like that.  A drug

addict needs more time.  They need a lot more

better medical attention in jail, if you ask me.  

People who really know what they are doing and know

how to deal with a severe drug addict because you

cannot de-tox in six days.  No way.  It took me --

I have been clean three years and I thank God for

that and her.  

SEN. HARP:  Thank you.  Are there questions?  Yes,

Representative Farr.

REP. FARR:  Are you also using Methadone?


REP. FARR:  And you have been using that for six years?

DEBBIE BLESSO:  No.  For three years.  I have been clean

for three years.  But I have been off the street,

you know, trying to better myself.

REP. FARR:  Okay.  And how did you get into the

Methadone program --

DEBBIE BLESSO:  She helped me.  

REP. FARR:  Okay.  But it wasn't through the jail -- it

wasn't at the --

DEBBIE BLESSO:  No. They didn't help me do nothing.

REP. FARR:  Okay.

DEBBIE BLESSO:  Back then when you get out of jail it

was at least a year waiting list to get on it.

REP. FARR:  And the Methadone Program, is that in

Hartford that you are in?


REP. FARR:  And you have to go there how many times a

week do you go?

DEBBIE BLESSO:  I go every day.

REP. FARR:  You go every day?  So you are still

monitored.  Okay.  And are you employed now?

DEBBIE BLESSO:  I get two take homes. I am building up

my take home.  

REP. FARR:  And are you employed now?

DEBBIE BLESSO:  No.  I am on social security.

REP. FARR:  Okay.  Thank you.  

SEN. HARP:  Thank you.  Representative Winkler.

REP. WINKLER:  Thank you, Madam Chairman.  Debbie, thank

you for coming before us today and sharing your


DEBBIE BLESSO:  You are welcome.

REP. WINKLER:  I would like to say part of the problem

is the fact that we don't have any substance abuse

beds for women in this State.  

DEBBIE BLESSO:  Yes, that's true.

REP. WINKLER:  Unless they are pregnant.  And I think

that's a real --

DEBBIE BLESSO:  It's not right.

REP. WINKLER:  -- that's a major issue.  It is a real

crime because there are all kinds of beds for men,

but nothing for women.  And until we beef up that

area, we are going to have a lot more problems.

But thank you and I think that that's part of the


YOLANDA REDIN:  Can I say one thing?  As far as the

children -- they were talking about the kids and

their statistics, I think reading in and out of a

book -- there's nothing to be said for that. 

Unless you've been through it, you don't know what

it's all about and I think as you look into

somebody recovering, maybe talking to these kids

and letting them know what the streets are like and

what it's like to survive in the streets and living

in rat infested buildings, putting your head down

wherever you can.  Do you know what I am saying? 

And maybe that would be more use to a kid than

somebody talking to them because they read it out

of a book, they know something, you know.  Unless

you've been there and experienced it, you'll never

understand it.  You know what I am saying?

Thank you.

SEN. HARP:  Thank you.  Are there further questions?  If

not, thank you very much.

Peter Rostenberg.  Is he here?  Followed by Imani


PETER ROSTENBERG:  Hello.  Good afternoon, ladies and


My name is Peter Rostenberg.  I practice internal

medicine and addiction medicine in New Fairfield

for the last 22 years.  

I have also been Medical Advisor to (INAUDIBLE)

Vocational School in the New Fairfield school


If any of you went to the Methadone luncheon the

other day, you saw the treatment improvement

protocol on State Methadone programs.  I also

chaired one of those federal consensus panels on

injury and alcohol in hospitals which focused

primarily on screening, asking patients questions

about risky alcohol and drug use which generally

does not take place in Connecticut or anywhere


I am also Connecticut State Chair of the American

Society of Addiction Medicine which we refer to as

ASAM.  I am here today primarily to represent the

views of the 45 physicians or so who are members of

this national organization.  

ASAM has about 3,500 members, physician members

nationwide.  Many of us have studied the body of

knowledge of addiction medicine and one of the

several text books on the subject -- there is a

certifying exam and we are fortunate in Connecticut

to have several ASAM members who are considered

competent in the area of addiction medicine and I

am hoping that in many of the laws that you all

look at that you will run it by the screen of

providing the opportunity for those of us who are

not in facilities, those of us who are in much

lower overhead situations to be able to provide the

high quality of care that you want the citizens of

the State to obtain.

So I would hope that there would be linkages for

M.D. treaters.  

I would like to mention, first of all, some topics

on Methadone.  My interest began in this area with

the Governor's Blue Ribbon Task Force and Dave

Biklen was one of my partners in the committee I

was on.  As I said, my interest is in alcohol

screening and I am going to say a word about that. 

Alcohol is the third leading cause of premature

mortality in this country and yet there is a code

of silence when people come to the hospital with

alcohol related admissions, whether it is injury,

which is the leading cause of death attributable to

alcohol use or certain other medical illnesses that

are very highly related to -- correlated to alcohol

use.  We do not see them being talked to and one of

the things we've learned about risk assessment and

Healthy 2000 is that citizens want to know what

their risks are.  They have a good idea of what

their risks are and they want to have choices.  And

we do not give them those choices in this area and

what happens, they continue to use, when the leave

the hospital.

We have to recognize that there is a, I believe, an

ethical economic and appropriateness to that aspect

of asking patients questions.  

My interest in Methadone, as I said, was started

with Dave Biklen, I thought, but as I listened to

him and heard him, and heard his pleas about maybe

writing something about Methadone, it made me

realize my own background was very much involved

with Methadone and I got hooked on the issue of


My internship and residency took place in a New

York City hospital which was primarily poor, inner

city, totally African-American and most of our

admissions to this 850-bed hospital were alcohol or

drug related.  

And these people who were coming in were often on

heroin and interestingly, because I was

moonlighting at the tombs, which they mentioned at

the luncheon and I will say about the tombs which

they have since torn down, that the halls were so

narrow that you had to walk like this through the

halls.  And I also worked at Rickers Island Prison

where the Methadone program was just begun. I

didn't know it was brand new.  But I had occasion

to see some young men that I had treated at Harlem

Hospital where I trained at the prison and some

people I saw at the prison I met later at the

Harlem Hospital Emergency Department where I worked

after my training as a full time medical attending

in that emergency room.

What I have since learned about methadone is that

it was primarily -- there are no feds here, I hope. 

It was primarily developed by people who believed

that the barbarians were at the gate and we were

trying to keep them from our houses and I have

since learned that the barbarity here is the

programs themselves.  That these are so highly

restrictive, they are so difficult to get into,

that they are doing a lot of harm, not for

necessarily the people they are taking care and who

can learn to live with that, but the demand as

somebody said, there - all these programs are 100%

full.  What we need to do is to find ways to entice

people away from these highly restrictive programs

and get them into more medically appropriate, more

cost effective kinds of interactions. 

I see a methadone maintenance program as an

intensive care unit for some of the sickest opiate

dependent people.  But the bell shaped curve of

illness, of disease, if you will, can put -- they

are on the very far right of that bell shaped


As people go through that program they move to the

left hand side of that curve.  They recover.  There

is no evidence that people do not recover from

addiction.  Even heroin addicts.  They need to be

moved out.  When those people are stabilized, we

need to move them away from that program and into a

less -- I would call, less of a prison-type of


We doctors in the American Society of Addiction

Medicine are able to provide high quality, low cost

care, lower cost care.  At the luncheon we had

yesterday or the other day, a recovered person, ten

years into being into the methadone maintenance

program is still costing the State $5,000 a year. 

There is no need for that. 

There is also and I have learned this since I have

moved to basically a white middle class community

that there are a lot of white middle class people

who are hooked on opius.  And they don't choose to

go to these programs. They are employed.  They have

families and they struggle with this addiction and

some of them, I believe that I take care of, would

be more appropriately treated on methadone.

REP. LAWLOR:  Excuse me, Doctor, perhaps members of the

committee have a question.  

PETER ROSTENBERG:  Does anybody have a question?

REP. LAWLOR:  Representative O'Neill.

REP. O'NEILL:  Based on what we heard yesterday and I

guess most people who are here now were there then. 

I mean, yesterday the programs that were presented

to us essentially were very long term, essentially

life long and for many people, unless they made a

voluntary choice to eliminate Methadone from their

lives and to reduce gradually and they made it

sound like it was several years, it wasn't like a

few milligrams a month until you got down from 80

to zero, are you saying that you think that after a

year or two on methadone that people should then be

moved off of the methadone programs or are you

talking about something like that Maryland

described program where doctors are issuing it and

it essentially is not part of a regular program --

not part of -- not that it's not part of a regular

program, but you are still getting the methadone,

you are just not part of the clinical setting?

PETER ROSTENBERG:  I am saying that there should be

choices available for these patients just like we

want to know that there are choices for any other

medical condition and that their criteria for

improvement, their criteria for recovery and the

methadone maintenance programs should not be

chronic care facilities.  They should be intensive

care units for people who are the sickest.

REP. O'NEILL:  Yeah, but if --

PETER ROSTENBERG:  If you move people out of there using

established criteria of recovery and stability they

can move onto less intensive programs making this

more intensive kind of entity available to more


REP. O'NEILL:  So when you are saying less intensive

programs you are talking about continuing to use

methadone, but for example, having a doctor at a

more distant site perhaps, providing -- somebody

sort of connected to these programs.  That was one

of the options that seemed to be presented to us. 

Or are you saying that they should basically be

weaned of the methadone?

PETER ROSTENBERG:  I have a problem with the bill that I

saw where it said the doctor had to be affiliated

with these programs because a lot of times the

doctors who are affiliated with those programs

really don't know much about addiction.  They have

simply gone through the boiler plate of becoming

federally approved.

What I am asking you to do is to always think about

is this person qualified?  Both the American

Society of Addiction Medicine and the American

Psychiatric Association have added qualifications

in the area of addiction medicine or in addiction

treatment care.  Those are the people you want to

focus on, identify, focus on and talk to more

people than myself about this to see what

opportunities you have to give the patients choice.

I think when you give people choice you increase

demand.  And when you lower the treatment to the

lowest cost, HMO's are going to like it -- believe

me, HMO's are not going to want to pay $5,000 a

year for somebody whose been clean and sober and

employed with families for fifteen years.  No way. 

And I would agree.

Does that answer your question?

REP. O'NEILL:  Not really.  The $5,000 was really, I

think, the point that they were trying to make with

the $5,000 and maybe sometimes we use evidence that

tends to bounce back at us, but the purpose of that

was to demonstrate how much cheaper that was than

the other options that keeping somebody in prison

for the same length of time or some other similar

kind of very much more expensive -- having somebody

on the street which was the most expensive where

they are actually stealing and doing all sorts of

mayhem as well as eating up resources of the police

department, the criminal justice system once they

are caught and that sort of thing.  I mean the

$5,000 was actually, on a scale of things, that was

actually the low cost alternative of what what was

put on the charts presented with.

PETER ROSTENBERG:  Well, I am here to tell you that

there is a much lower cost.

REP. O'NEILL:  I guess what I am trying to figure out is

what is it that you are telling us that is the

lower cost?  Is it -- regardless of how we classify

or how we reach that point, are you saying that a

doctor in his own office issuing methadone tablets

or liquid is what you think we should be doing to

move people out of these clinics?

PETER ROSTENBERG:  I think that disease management --

this is sort of the Rubric that is used.  Disease

management.  Institutions like to run because they

get to be able to provide all kinds of services. 

That doesn't mean the patient needs all those

services.  It means the institution can get

reimbursed for them and as we see the winding down

of hospitals and survival of hospitals and of --

you are going to see more of that.  What I am

saying is that when a patient is stabilized and

when they have a chronic illness that's in

recovery, they don't need $5,000 worth of care a

year unless they are on dialysis or unless they are

on some kind of maintenance, chemotherapy like

Interferon.  It's just not needed.  That's what I

am saying.  That $5,000 is a continuum of cost. And

it's on a continuum of care.  That's what I am

saying and I am saying that it doesn't have to be

an institution that takes care of this.

And as I mentioned before, there are people who do

not need to go through an intensive care unit; who

do not need the lower intensity kind of treatment,

but who still need treatment.

For example, a patient of mine is 35 years old.  He

has a job, two young kids under ten.  He is a

heroin addict and occasionally he has a relapse. 

Now, I don't need to use methadone in him.  But I

have other patients who just can't seem to get

clear.  They go and -- I have a young lady, she's

got about the same age.  She's got two young kids. 

Her husband is employed at our local hospital.  She

just got arrested for forging a prescription after

being clean for three or four months.  I think this

person is a candidate for methadone.  I can't give

it to her.  

REP. O'NEILL:  Okay.  So what you -- to try to get a

handle on what you are saying is you think that

methadone should be sort of like other drugs that

you can prescribe.  In other words, there should be

a prescribable drug by a physician --

PETER ROSTENBERG:  It should be prescribable by people

who are qualified, given stringent criteria for

dispensing the way we do with other drugs.  For

example, medical marijuana.

PETER ROSTENBERG:  Well we don't dispense medical

marijuana in the State of Connecticut to my


PETER ROSTENBERG:  No, I know we don't, but I am sort of

introducing that as an aside, is what I believe is

a medically appropriate tool in the (INAUDIBLE) of

practicing physicians.

REP. O'NEILL:  Okay.  I think I've got a better picture

now. So you think that the people, the prescriptive

authority should be limited to people that meet

higher standards than just the average M.D. or

advanced practice nurse, practitioner, or other

people that now have -- optometrists, I guess have

prescriptive privileges of one kind or another, but

instead of having just any doctor, just any medical

doctor be allowed to prescribe that, it would be

that somebody who has credentials similar to yours

would be allowed to prescribe methadone?


REP. O'NEILL:  Okay.  Thank you.

REP. LAWLOR:  Okay.  Thank you very much, Doctor.  Imani


IMANI WOODS:  Thank you.  I have certainly learned much

today while observing your unique fashion of


While I've heard some very interesting approaches

today and I am also very happy to have been invited

here to speak, certainly I -- over these (GAP IN


place where we may actually begin to make some

headway in this seemingly impossible problem.

I would like to address some of the comments that

were made earlier (GAP IN TESTIMONY - TAPE STOPPED

RUNNING) all over this country.  Thirty-nine

percent of the entire cigarette and alcohol budget

is spent in communities of color.  Thirty-nine

percent.  That's the only place where a group of

people or a specific business takes that much money

and puts it into the Black community.

Prevention also has to be backed up by opportunity. 

In these communities where you have massive

unemployment and we know unemployment is a key

indicator for excessive drug use, where we have

unemployment, where we have no opportunities and

where we have drug treatment that may not be

culturally appropriate, you have individuals who

this is the norm.  Over the years and the ten years

that I have been working in this field I have

discovered something in which I named in 1989 as a

substance using community.  

A group of people who have a different jargon, a

difficult lifestyle and totally different values

than you or I may choose to espouse to.  Those

individuals who are, I feel, benefitted from the

just say no and some of the prevention efforts that

we are familiar with are individuals who probably

wouldn't have took that route anyway.  I'm sorry to

say and the -- how do we get our statistics on who

is using and whose not using? I am sure some of you

probably know that we do it by the NIDA household

surveys, The National Institute of Drug Abuse

household surveys.  In order to be eligible for

NIDA household surveys first of all you got to have

a house.  They got to have somewhere to knock.  

Secondly, how many people when you go to their

house to do a survey and say knock, knock, is there

anybody in there getting high?  I mean, you know,

not everybody is going to answer and give you an

accurate answer, oh yeah, well three of my sons are

using in the bathroom right now.  You are not going

to get that.

Also we give our drug users mixed messages.  I

don't understand - because we are talking about

mixed messages earlier.  What confuses me and maybe

you can help me is we say that drug abuse,

substance abuse, chemical dependency is a disease. 

Okay.  So since it is a disease, how come we are

not sending sick people to the hospital?  Why are

we sending sick people to jail?  I'm confused.  I

thought sick people go to the hospital and get


Some of the recommendations I have is or rather --

we really need to shift to a public health model. 

Looking at drug use is just one more problem that

affects a certain population of individuals and has

far reaching impact to the general society as a

whole. Secondly, I support reality based

programming in communities.  Meaning that drug

treatment, the opening up of more drug treatment

may not be the answer.  I certainly believe that we

need to have drug treatment, but demand and that

drug treatment needs to be available.  However,

there are other approaches that we can take such as

drop in centers, community initiatives where people

can just walk in and receive care, service, and

basic needs.

We have to include and examine the social and

political aspects of drug abuse.  We all know that

in communities of color, communities of color in

America have become the drug distribution ground

and drugs are readily available in those

communities.  How can we penalize people so

strongly for something -- it is like putting a

cookie jar on the table and telling the kid not to

touch the cookies.

I know I am over, but for one minute I would like

to depart from my speech and tell you a little bit

about me, which was not something that I planned to

do, but which I feel maybe appropriate at this time

because there seems to be so much confusion and

lack of understanding.

I grew up in (INAUDIBLE) in New York.  When I

walked out of my door every single morning, the

dope man was outside our door.  My mother worked

very hard.  I attended Catholic school and Catholic

elementary school and Catholic high school. My

mother believed that by sending me to private

school that that would be an effective way to keep

me okay.  My family was very strict.  They are very

strict west Indian based family, work -- very

strong work ethics, a lot of pride.

Every single day, however, when I walked out of my

door to go to Catholic school, the drug dealers

were out there.  The drugs were out there.  It was

a whole different society and by the time I was 17

I had -- I got inquisitive.  I spent 10 years in

the street.  How did I get clean?  Well, I got

clean because people cared about me.  I got clean

because I got on the methadone program.  I got

clean because the methadone program gave me enough

strength to sit down and finally listen and come to

terms with what I wanted to do.  

This day, however, I do wonder if drug policy

reform had been different, what my life would have

been like.  Most of my friends didn't make it. 

Most of them died and the kids are in foster care

or so forth.

Today, I have been drug free for fifteen years and

I don't have a problem with other people that are

not drug free, but I will say that compassion is

the most successful way to get people involved in

drug treatment as well as an understanding of the

social and the political aspects of drug use and my

irresponsibility as a public health official for

not working with people to eliminate the problems

in their community and then try to help them gain

an upper hand in society.

Any questions?

REP. LAWLOR:  Thank you, Imani. Are there any questions? 

I think for those of us who listened to the

presentation this morning, I think we have gotten 

a lot of good advice and counsel from your

particular perspective and we appreciate you coming

all the way from Seattle, Washington, which you

didn't point out earlier today and we appreciate


IMANI WOODS:  No questions?  Representative Farr.

REP. FARR:  I guess I could ask you, how's the weather

in Seattle?  My son lives out there and I am

curious what --

IMANI WOODS:  How's the weather?

REP. FARR:  My son lives in Seattle.  I am just curious

to what it was like --

IMANI WOODS:  You don't have any questions?  I am


REP. FARR:  I do have one question for you.

IMANI WOODS:  Oh, okay.

REP. FARR:  You made a comment about the -- when you

were in high school and that you got curious

because people were selling drugs out in the

street.  Is it your position that we ought not to

be arresting people for selling those drugs on the


IMANI WOODS:  No, it is not.  It is my position,

however, that and certainly my -- I think in terms

of the kind of criminal laws we have, I have

priorities.  I my first priority is that the non-

violent offender not go to jail.  It doesn't make

any sense. Again, we are in the middle of this

controversy.  If it is a disease, how come they are

going to jail?  It's the only disease, by the way,

that people do time for in this country.

I do believe in some cases that the street level

drug dealer is responding to the market and as long

as there is a demand for drugs in these

communities, and it's illegal, that man is never

going to be out of work.  

REP. FARR:  Let me ask you then, as long as it is

illegal, I mean if it is legalized, obviously you

are not going to reduce the demand by making it


IMANI WOODS:  Certainly not, but as long as that market

exists -- I mean, you probably understand.  You

remember Joe P. Kennedy, don't you?  I mean,

prohibition.  He made tons of money.

REP. FARR:  And we legalized alcohol and now it's a

disease that takes a far greater toll on our

society than the other drugs.

IMANI WOODS:  Right.  Right and Al Capone made millions

because of alcohol at that time was illegal. So my

point is not the whole -- I am steering clear of

legalization issues, but what I am saying is as

long as we create a market for the street level

dealer, he is -- he or she is going to continue to

operate.  Very often these people have no job

skills, but they go home and they watch the lives

of the rich and the famous. So when they go to

McDonald's and McDonald's says $5 an hour, they

don't see a Mercedes Benz.  So, they figure they

will get involved in it for a little while and they

will be able to get out.

The stories of the people in these neighborhoods

are stories that are very different from what I

believe, not sure, but what I believe you or even I

today may hear, but it's a very different kind of

thinking and if we begin to say, well just lock

them up, just lock them up, just lock them up,

basically what are we -- what we are saying is,

let's just lock the persons of color who are drug


REP. FARR:  Let me just say, first of all, there is no

crime against using drugs. The crime that you would

be arrested for would be the possession of the

drugs --


REP. FARR:  -- themselves.  And there are very few

people in our prisons that are there strictly for

"possession of drugs".  Most of the people that are

there are selling the drugs or have large

quantities and obviously are in the sale of drugs

or there are people because of their drug problems,

have committed other crimes.


REP. FARR:  And when people say that people ought not to

be in jail because they are committing non-violent

crimes, they usually -- the people who are in jail

for the non-violent crimes are usually people who

commit burglaries and in my experience in my

community, is that we had two young men that were

apparently using drugs that got involved in doing

burglaries. There was a warrant out for their

arrest and in my community, they weren't picked up

in a timely fashion, they committed another

burglary and when there two -- a couple in that

house that they were burglarizing, they took the

lives of that couple.  Now they are in jail.  A lot

of people felt that they perhaps it would have been

appropriate to intervene in the legal sense prior

to them getting that opportunity.

REP. LAWLOR:  If I could just interrupt.  There is a

vote taking place in the Appropriations Committee. 

I think we -- Art, do you want to drive for a


REP. SCALETTAR:  Terry is going to do it.  

REP. LAWLOR:  Oh, Terry is going to do it. Okay.  Terry

is here.  

REP. GERRATANA:  They'll be right back.  Does anyone

else have any questions or comments for Ms. Woods?

Art, go ahead. Representative O'Neill, go ahead.

REP. O'NEILL:  I guess I'm not absolutely sure about

this and I don't want to get into an argumentative

situation here, but we actually do incarcerate

other people for other crimes that are also

recognized as having a disease component.  I mean

the ones that come to mind most often are things

like pedophilia.  I mean -- you don't go and

generally plead insanity to a child molestation

charge.  You may end up getting some kind of

treatment, somewhere along the line, but -- and

there are others.  I am sure there are

kleptomaniacs that we put away.  We don't send them

off to some mental hospital for the most part.  If

you are somebody very wealthy or famous, if you

were one of Joe Kennedy's grandchildren or

something, they might do that, but if you are

everybody else, you will probably get picked up for

shoplifting they are going to put you in jail after

a while.  

I guess the thing that I am wondering about is you

have sort of -- I wasn't here in the morning so I

don't know what your comments were.  I gather you

did comment this morning. You were part of the

discussion that occurred.  The kind of things that

we are thinking about -- I was on the Law Revision

Commission Task Force -- I was a member of the Law

Revision, but I also sat in on a lot of the

discussions and went through a lot of the material

that we used to put together the report that was

issued by the Law Revision Commission.  

It seems to me that there are a lot of -- there are

different aspects of this problem. In other words,

the heroin problem -- you people can talk about

methadone, but to my knowledge, there is nothing

comparable to methadone for cocaine.  The biggest

probably single substance that gets abused is

alcohol.  Again, I don't know of anything that you

take -- some other liquid that you consume besides

alcohol and alcohol is a much broader based kind of

thing, but it is a legal substance, regulated to

some degree, but whereas the others are really

pretty much illegal.  

I guess I don't know -- I am not sure where they

fit on the schedules, but basically there is no --

normally you don't go prescribing heroin or cocaine

for medical conditions.  I suppose maybe its

something somewhere that gets used for that way.

Whereas alcohol you can go and most places we must

have about 60 or 80 licensed vendors in my home



REP. O'NEILL:  And so all the different kinds of

substances that get abused, it's a whole different

set of situations.  So I mean one size fits all or

a -- you look at each of these pieces of it and

it's a very different set of problems that you are

dealing with and you are talking about.

What I am wondering about is, in your experience in

Seattle, and I gather you are involved with trying

to deal with drug addiction problems there.  That

is the impression I get.  

What is it that works best, particularly -- I hate

to say it quite this way -- I think we wouldn't be

here if basically nobody was using heroine or

cocaine.  Probably not even if they were using

marijuana.  We wouldn't be here except for heroine

and cocaine.  And the inciting of that, certainly

for the Law Revision Commission, to a large degree,

was that we were looking at all the crime that we

had and the fairly high body count that we had

picked up in the State of Connecticut and from my

perspective, the abridgement of civil rights as

well that we are going through.  We would let -- we

let a lot of things go because we are fighting

drugs.  It is worth it to sacrifice certain civil

liberties in order to get there as well as the fact

that it costs a lot of money.  We lock up a lot of

people and we are putting convicted multiple

murderers on the witness stand on behalf of the

State of Connecticut and the federal government

does this all the time.  The spector of us

basically being in partnership with somebody like

Pablo Escobar. So that's -- we came at this from

that perspective, not really so much a therapeutic

consideration looking at well, how can we best

treat people who have substance abuse problems.  

So putting aside alcohol for the heroin and cocaine

things and in dealing with that, what's -- as I

say, I missed this morning, so what would you

suggest for us to do?

IMANI WOODS:  Well, in specifics, I specifically, I just

want to point out that I came from drug treatment. 

I was a drug treatment counselor for many years. 

And I continue to work as an advocate for different

-- for alternative approaches within the drug

treatment community in this country.  Also, your

point is well taken about you know, people who are

pedophiles or people who steal and kleptomaniacs

and so forth.  I guess I would say in response to

that, however, that it's a very -- it's not a very

widely utilized DSM for criteria.  In other words,

I don't think too many people, too many doctors

write it down for their reimbursement purposes or

that medical doctors in hospitals use that criteria

very often for these other cases.  Just a point,

just making a point.

We also aren't very sure about the process of the

pedophile or the person who steals.  We are not

very sure.  We have done a lot of research,

however, on the alcoholic and the drug addict so we

are really -- we are pretty much very clear in

regards to what components and what indicators need

to be present in order for us to look at it in that


So we are pretty clear about the whole disease

notion and some aspects of addiction and then of

course, there are many other theories.  

What I think -- what I believe works, is that we

have to come to terms with drugs.  As I said

earlier, I myself, came to terms with drugs for

myself.  But we still have to come to terms and

make peace with drugs.  You can continue this war

and this war effort, but unfortunately, we have

been not doing very well, you know.  There are more

and more people getting addicted to drugs and more

and more people being punished for the addiction.  

One of the things that I really believe in is I

really believe that it is not cost effective to put

someone in jail whose a user.  That's just my

opinion.  I also believe that most people who

really want to use, when they get out of jail they

are going to use again anyway and we are probably

going home soon home anyway so I would like to

present this little issue to the panel.

Suppose somebody used, because they wanted to, --

it's like suppose I don't stop getting high because

I like it.  It does something for me.  When I get

high I don't realize.  When I get high I feel

better.  When I get high I have confidence.  When I

get high I feel like I can achieve something, even

if it's for a minute, but you know what, I like the

way this feels.  I can tell you for all the years

that I have spent in the street, I am certainly not

-- you know, I am certainly not stupid, I spent ten

years doing it because I liked the way it feels and

that is something I think we have a very hard time

with grasping, removing immediately from the use to

treatment.  And treatment is very important, don't

get me wrong.  I am totally for drug treatment and

I totally believe that abstinence is the way to go

for most people, but I think that what we do and

why we run into a lot of problems is that we treat

drug addicts like babies.  And what we say to the

drug addict is you are sick and the only way that

you will be able to do anything for yourself or

your community will be if you stop.  Well, the drug

addict doesn't want to stop.  So perhaps, or

perhaps it's more important to them to use.  So

what do you do? 

Well, what I did and what I continue to do today

when I go to the jail program that I keep in touch

with and speak to the inmates is what I do is I say

to them, you know what, I understand that you get

high for a reason.  I respect them.  I say to them,

you are not stupid.  I know you are enjoying

yourself sometimes.  Sometimes not.  But I

certainly know, given the proper dose, you are

having a good time or you are feeling relaxed.  But

right now sir, you are 40 years old. You have three

kids you are not taking care of.  You got a wife

and family.  It's time to put down the childish

behavior. Period.  I don't even - I try not to even

focus on drugs.  I try to explain to them that I

understand that they are getting something out of

it, but that now if you want to make different

choices, it's time to put down childish things.  

So I think that -- also I think another reason why

we are having problems with the teenagers is

because we tell the teenagers that stuff is bad --

ooh, terrible.  And they smoke it and they go, are

they talking about the same thing I am talking

about?  So of course they don't want to go to

treatment.  They think -- of course they don't want

to stop doing it. We are telling them that this is

bad.  They smoke it and they don't feel bad.  They

feel good.

So what do we do?  We hide it.  We hide it from

parents.  We think, oh from the authorities,

because we think that they must be crazy.  Why

aren't they appreciating what I am appreciating? 

The way to talk to kids is to say, if you smoke

marijuana, I did this with my nephew and I won't

take up too much point of time, but my nephew

started smoking marijuana and my sister -- oh, my

God, what am I going to do, what am I going to do? 

I have worked all these years, worked so hard to

keep him clean.  

Don't get excited, number one, because he is going

to smoke.  I wrote him a letter and in that letter

I wrote to my nephew.  I said, "Dear Shawn.  I

understand that you are smoking marijuana."  I

didn't say I heard or are you because many times

parents need to play that game. Are you smoking

marijuana?  Like the child is going to say, Oh, of

course.  Of course they are going to say they are

not smoking.  I understand you are smoking

marijuana.  Let me tell you what is going to happen

or what kinds of things you have to be careful of.

Number one, when you smoke marijuana, some studies

say that it may in some way affect your driving. 

Living in Orlando, I know you drive a lot.  You

need to know that.

Number two, because you are an African-American

male, you will probably get stopped at some point

particularly if you are in a car with a bunch of

other African-American males. They will find the

marijuana in your car.  You will get -- you will go

to jail for possession.  You will be charged with

possession.  Because your mother has a very good

job and you have never been in trouble before and

you have a family that can advocate for you, you

probably will not do a day, but it will be on your

record and as an African-American male, that's one

more strike against you.

You need to understand that when you smoke

marijuana you might get little yellow stains on

your fingers which may affect what kind of job you

can get. 

Lastly, I want you to know that I love you whether

you smoke marijuana or not, but I want you to know

that it is illegal.  That's it.

Being realistic about drugs for me has been the

best approach and we created a program in Seattle,

Washington called "Street Outreach Services" and

quickly to tell you it was -- and you have

something similar to it right here in Bridgeport

with the needle exchange van that goes out, but at

Street Outreach Services, we fed people.  We helped

people with clothing.  We helped people with food.

And then we said, now do you have any problems?  

Eventually they got around to talking about their

drug problems and eventually we were able to talk

to them about solutions.  But hungry people, people

living in the street, people that have been living

that hustler life and that street life all their

lives, when you send them to jail, public housing. 

Public housing. A rest.  Showers. Fresh bed daily. 

Stuff I didn't have when I was in the street. 

Unfortunately, that is what you are going to get,

not an individual who has become responsible. What

I am talking about is responsibility.  The addict

needs to become a responsible person.  We are

babying them.  We could take that $25,000 a year

and take -- and just take $10,000 of it to put in

an innovative job training and job readiness

programs for these individuals so that they can

stop walking around saying, "I can't get in that

program because I am using."  No, that's okay. 

Come on.  We will take you.  Come on. 

And by achieving in that state, that gives that

person that little piece of self esteem so that

they begin to think what's getting in my way and if

it is the drugs, they will let it go.

But when you have nothing and you have no hope, you

are desperate, you live in these communities where

there are rats and roaches all over your house, you

come tell me about drug treatment?  I am like,

okay, I have been there before.  If I ain't got no

money I will probably go again, but if I got money

I am going to continue to participate.

So anyway, that is what I think.  I know you are

sorry you asked.  I can tell by the look on your


REP. O'NEILL:  Well, in one sense, it -- in yesterday's

little discussion a lot of what we ended up talking

about was a -- that drug treatment is part of like

a comprehensive medical program and then you kind

of get -- and it -- for us to deal, at least for

me, and when we look at a budget and we look at

what we are going to do in terms of changing

programs and so forth, we look at essentially

specific targeted compartmentalized things and

essentially say you have to remake this person's

entire life in order to get it -- because the drugs

is just a symptom of an underlying social or

physical or other malady that they have.  It makes

the problem a lot more difficult to address.  

IMANI WOODS:  I still -- just quickly in response.  I

think it is amazing what a little success can do.

It's amazing that when people who have never had

any achievement, achieve something, the change that

comes over them.  It is amazing.  People who --

grown people who get a kick -- who brag because

they passed a test or got their GED.  And see when

they have something, -- when you have something,

then you begin to make different choices.  But when

you have nothing, it doesn't mean anything.

I do hope that Connecticut can certainly serve as a

leader in this effort because in this country,

something has got to change.  I was talking to

Senator Harp today about the whole notion of the

disparity and racial breakdown and because I have

been fortunate enough through Ethan and other

people to go and see what goes on in other

countries, and talk with people from other

countries, I realize that they have very innovative

programs for dealing with their drug users.  And I

won't spend the time to go into it, but I mean I

look at Amsterdam and Australia and I think you

saved that much money, your programs are that cost

effective?  So with all due respect, it comes to my

mind why isn't the United States trying to save

money?  Why isn't the United States looking for the

most effective way to do this?  Then I begin to

think, I wonder is it because the jails are full of

Black people?  Latin people?  If the jails were

full with White American men, do you think maybe we

would get something done?

Just a thought.  And I mean that in all seriousness

because I talked to Senator Harp about it.  But

there is - it doesn't make sense to me that this

country would not look for the most effective way

to do things and that this country would do the

same thing -- the people would talk about insanity

is doing the same thing and expecting different

results.  Well that is what we are doing with the

war on drugs.  We do the same thing over and over

again like this time it's going to work and it

behooves me as to why within this society we

haven't looked at something else, at another way

when this way, obviously, has many flaws.  Just a


REP. O'NEILL:  Okay.

IMANI WOODS:  You missed it.  Anybody else?

REP. LAWLOR:  We've got that transcript, you know.  We

are all set, but it's not going to --

IMANI WOODS:  Okay.  I know you can't wait to get to the

transcript, Representative.  

Thank you.  I really appreciate having the honor of

being able to speak to you. When I was leaving

Seattle I told my friends, now you guys make sure

you watch CNN because you don't know, I may have an

outstanding warrant in Connecticut.  

REP. LAWLOR:  Okay.  Thanks a lot.

IMANI WOODS:  Thank you.  Will everyone look on the

floor around them to see if they see a date book? 

It has a cloth cover and a (INAUDIBLE) on it.  I

could have dropped it somewhere. 

REP. LAWLOR:  While you are looking, is Jerry Ainsworth

still here?  Jerry Ainsworth?  Alright.  John



REP. LAWLOR:  He had to leave.  Anne Higgins.


ANNE HIGGINS:  Is this working?  I am Anne Higgins from

North Haven.  I am really impressed with today.  I

was listening in this morning and I thought this is

-- I don't know, this is part of enlightenment

beginning to happen here. 

I have been the Chair of a small committee in the

United Church of Christ that has studied drug

policy for two years now ever since I woke up one

night and heard the child had been shot on a bus -

school bus in New Haven and I was determined to try

to be part of trying to solve this, that's going

on.  And gathered a few people who were interested

and we read -- we interviewed police chiefs,

professors, all kinds of people.  We listened a

lot.  Some of us have read the whole Law Revision

Commission thick report.  I think it, in itself, is

very good with lots of terrific research and wisdom

in it.

I would like to say three quick things.  One is

that you have people behind you if you are willing

to make some changes.  I know it seems politically

unwise to try, but I believe there are many people

more than even in our church who would be behind

moving from incarceration as an answer to our drug

problems, toward public health, toward treatment,

prevention and education.  

I think there are many more people that are

beginning to understand this.  We had a whole

church -- you may have heard of a church in

Hartford where 80 people signed a petition in favor

of the kind of thing that the Law Revision

Commission came up with.  We had a resolution where

400 of our church representatives last October

suggested four specific things in our resolution of

adjustments to drug policy were very similar to

what we have been talking about today.

I think you have much more of the public behind you

than you think and any way you should be leaders.

You should be our leaders.

I also feel that prevention and education are

terrifically important and have begun to look into,

for instance, just on the surface I have talked to

the woman who runs the drug education.  It's a

total thing.  It's called Social Development in New

Haven.  I  have looked at that.  They are doing an

evaluation this year to see where they have come

along in the four or six years they have been doing

it.  It looks good to me. It looks much better than

the kind of thing you hear about where the police

coming in a helicopter into a town and spending,

you know -- a few sessions with the kids.  This is

a total thing where the police are part of the

whole drug education thing.  I looked at the stuff

for Boston.  It looks very good.  It's a whole part

of the curriculum so that prevention and education

are part of the whole -- trying to educate kids to

look at their lives the way the speaker just before

me talked about, look at your life and see what

drugs are going to do to your life if you possibly

can when you are a teenager, begin to look at that

rather than just one emphasis on don't take drugs. 

Look at how the whole development is.

The last thing I wanted to say is I have somebody

close to me who is in one of our major drug

rehabilitation institutions in the State.  She is a

drug counselor and she is very concerned about what

managed care is doing to drug treatment.  If we are

going to move people and heal them instead of

incarcerate them, and we are going to move them to

public health treatment, we can't have managed care

cutting the payment for the costs.  Something has

got to be done there.  It has been brought down

from something like a month's basic treatment to

two weeks that includes de-tox.  When you have

somebody on ten or twenty years of drug addiction,

you can't do anything in one week after de-tox. 

It's got to be better than that.  

So somehow our oversight of managed care has to be


REP. LAWLOR:  Anne, it's funny.  You mentioned that and

you live in North Haven and I live in East Haven

and I think you know about our town.  It's a very

middle class town, a lot of union members, etc.,

and fortunately, many of them have insurance, but  

I get many phone calls just as a local politician

about parents who are wondering how to get their

kids into drug treatment and when they tell me they

don't have enough health insurance to pay for that,

to say well the only way that I know of to get drug

treatment and it's not a good way, but it's to get

your kid arrested.  And that, unfortunately, is one

of the main referral mechanisms we have in our

State and it would be wonderful if there was a

common sense, easy access drug treatment for people

who have reached that and as people -- I'm

certainly not an expert on it, but people work with

drug users seem to think that the moment that the

willingness is there is the moment you have to take

advantage of it and if you wait, it maybe too late.

So, but thanks for coming in today.  Are there any

other questions?  If not, thank you.

Next is Roger Wescott.  Roger Wescott.  

ROGER WESCOTT:  My name is Roger Wescott.  I am a

retired professor of anthropology.  My plea to you

today in brief, is that we replace this

interminable drug war, at least initially, with a

drug truce.  And my precedent here is our

experience of the Vietnam War.  

Once it became clear to us that we were not winning

the war, and that the war was probably un-winnable,

we did the sensible thing, we terminated our


I think we should also recognize that history tells

us something about efforts that blanket

prohibition.  It's not just the experience of the

1920's with alcohol prohibition with which most of

us are familiar, as far back as the 16th century, a

strenuous effort was made both in the Islamic world

and in the Christian world to outlaw coffee.  For

the Moselums, it was the fact that it was an

(INAUDIBLE) drink, not mentioned in the Holy

Scriptures.  For the Christian nations,

particularly England, they felt that it was a

threat to health and was perhaps a poison, but of

course, coffee became so popular in both areas,

that the ban had to be dropped and it was.

It is a fact that every people known to

anthropology has some mind altering substance that

they produced themselves which they consider

traditional and acceptable and necessary to good

living.  The only exception to this that I can

think of is that of the (INAUDIBLE) eskimo of the

Arctic Circle.  They be the only ones that produce

no drugs, but that was for a very simple reason. 

They had no plants from which they could extract

any drugs.

Now, I recognize that what will be objected almost

immediately is the problem of habituation and above

all, addiction.  But I think when we talk about the

addictiveness of drugs we are confusing substances

with people.  Really the proneness to addiction is

a characteristic of people.  It is very variable

according to the individual and according to the

social setting.

We all know people who are addicted to sweets and

fatty foods, people who are addicted to gambling

and to shopping, otherwise terms like "choc-aholic"

and "shop-acholic" would not be as familiar as they


We know people who become addicted to medications,

wholly legal prescribed medications, pain killers,

tranquilizers and the like.  What I am saying here

is, following Professor Duke of Yale, that we

should not militarize our drug policy, but rather

medicalize it.  

Speaking of medicine makes me think of the founder

of western medicine, Hippocrates, whose first motto

was, "do no harm", but our drug war does great

harm.  It costs billions of dollars.  It causes

street shootings.  It corrupts the police and

judges.  It overloads our courts.  It overcrowds

our jails.  It leads to invasion of privacy,

including even examples of children acting as

informers on their parents in keeping with the

precepts of D.A.R.E.  It leads to abridgement of

civil liberty and to a general atmosphere of fear

and mistrust in the country.

There is a also a problem, I think, of hypocrisy in

the waging of the so-called "drug war".  Even the

phrase, "drugs and alcohol" implies, for example,

that alcohol is not a drug.  It certainly is and

along with nicotine it is the greatest killer drug

in our country compared to which marijuana and the

psychedelics are relatively mild.  

One of the other interesting things here is that

those very people who are most opposed to federal

regulation of things like welfare and health care,

oppose the free market in drugs.  Now there are

some conspicuous exceptions to this rule and I

should mention decentralists like William Buckley,

Milton Freedman and George Schultz all of whom are

consistent with their principles and have supported

the free market here.

I am also troubled by the draconianism in mandatory

sentencing for drug offenses.  This kind of

sentencing eliminates judicial discretion.  It

takes away from judges what is, I think, their

distinctive grace, the fact that they can actually

make wise and balanced decisions.

All wars are destructive at best.  There are no

happy warriors in the drug war.  Hubert Humphrey

was a happy warrior as long as he was involved in

the war on poverty, but when he got involved in the

war of Vietnam, he ceased to be such.  

I recognize that a real drug peace is unlikely in

the immediate future until we are at peace with

ourselves and with each other.  But at least let us

declare a drug truce.  Let us put an end to the

waste and the slaughter.

Thank you very much.

REP. LAWLOR:  Thank you, Professor Wescott. 

Representative Farr.

REP. FARR:  Can I just ask you a question?  You are

aware that the federal government has a new law

that the new regulation that says you have to show

your I.D. if you are under 27 to buy cigarettes.  I

assume you are against that and you are against any

regulations on the sale of cigarettes?

ROGER WESCOTT:  No, I am not against any regulations.  I

think there is a difference between control and

prohibition.  What we now called controlled

substances are actually --

REP. FARR:  Well let me just -- then you are against the

law that says if you are under 18, you can't --

ROGER WESCOTT:  No, I'm not.  I am not.  I think we

should control all drugs, everyone that I mentioned

in both those that --

REP. FARR:  But why would we have a law against it if

you -- I don't understand your testimony then.  You

said that we ought not to be having laws against

these things and now you are saying you don't want

to repeal the law --

ROGER WESCOTT:  When you say, "against these things" --

REP. FARR:  Against drugs.  You indicated that --

ROGER WESCOTT:  No, I would not have laws against drugs,

but I would control them and I think we can control


REP. FARR:  Okay.  I am just confused.  That's okay.

ROGER WESCOTT:  I think there is a distinction between

control and prohibition and I would say that those

things which we now call controlled substances are,

for the most part, actually prohibited substances. 

And I think they should not be.  But I think they

should be controlled and they can be in a balanced,

moderate and humane way.  

REP. LAWLOR:  So if I understand it, you are saying that

perhaps like alcohol, you have to be a certain age

to get it and --

ROGER WESCOTT:  Yes, I think --

REP. LAWLOR:  -- you can't drive with it and you can't

sell it on Sundays.


REP. LAWLOR:  You can get --

ROGER WESCOTT:  I think that should be true of all

drugs.  I think we have to take them individually. 

But I think we can do it without blanket

prohibition, saying absolutely (REST OF TESTIMONY



REP. LAWLOR:  Bill Carroll?  Bill Carroll?  Darel


DAREL COLLINS:  Chairman Lawlor, members of the

committee.  I am 49 years old.  I remember

President Johnson declaring war on drugs. I

remember Richard Nixon coming along and declaring

the real war on drugs.  And every president since

then -- it's the same old story over and over again

and the scene since I was a youngster in 1969-1970

I was a hippie and drugs were all over the place

then and they still are, nothing has changed.  

But this lady right here, you should listen to her. 

She is really on to what the problem is here.  It's

a problem of how a person values themselves.  If

you have value for yourself you have a hedge

against what that drug is going to do to you or not

to do to you.  If you want to save your own life

you can experiment with drugs, but you say this

other thing I got is better.  That's what's

happening in the inner city.  I own a rooming house

right on the edge of the fourth district here and I

am looking out my window.  I have been there for

three years and I am watching a family with a

mother -- she's got six sons, no man in the house

and every year these kids are growing up and as the

next one gets old enough he is going to jail and I

can look out my window and I will go, okay next

year this one is going to go to jail and the year

after that, the other one will big enough and he

will take his place.  And that's what's happening

right down here.  Five blocks from here and I am

not too worried about the two young ladies that

were sitting here from the suburbs that were

involved in that goody two shoes drug program that

you are talking about there.  I am not too worried

about those young ladies, but I am worried about

all these kids that I am seeing right around Frog

Hollow here and they are all going to grow up with

criminal records.  Not only a drug problem, but a

criminal record to go with it. 

This drug war is corrupting everybody.  It's

corrupting the police, it is corrupting whole

nations.  Look at Mexico, we can't trust anybody in

Mexico anymore.  But the federal government has got

so much invested in this drug war that there is no

way that they can declare peace, so to speak, and

walk away from it.  The states are going to have to

take the federal government by the hand and lead

them out of the wilderness and if the states can't

do it, the citizens are going to have to do it.  If

our elected representatives aren't go to start

getting a handle on this thing in leading the way,

then what's happening out in California and Arizona

where the people are taking the issue away from the

politicians, because the politicians just have too

much invested.  You have huge bureaucracies built

up around this drug war.  People making huge

livings on it.  They are not going to lose their


And so as I say, the people are going to take

ballot initiatives and it is coming this way and I

believe this organization that is here today with

(INAUDIBLE) was involved in that and the marijuana

legalization for medical purposes out there.

Now the prohibition of alcohol, it started in

Detroit and it ended in Detroit and what happened

was when they started using children to sell and

carry and deliver alcohol toward the end of

Prohibition, all of a sudden the people who had

started prohibition of alcohol said, wait a minute,

this is going too far. When they start using

children to carry the substance around, we are

going to end prohibition.  But evidently, former

generations were more moral than we are because the

drug dealers have been using a 14 year old kids

outside my house down here for years because -- and

I can see them, the 14 year old kid goes in the

house -- I can take you right out to the window and

show -- watch this happen.  He goes in.  He gets

the dope from the guy, comes back out, gives it to

car and drives away.  And that s.o.b. sits in the

house while the kid gets arrested for it.

We have to do like they are saying.  And also folks

are going to say, okay, they are going to examine

the treatment programs.  I agree, we should go down

the road away from criminalization and more toward

treatment and understanding, but there are failures

in treatment and you are going to compare the

treatment against locking them up and this and that

and saying, see this is a failure, they have been

through this treatment program six times.  

I think what she is saying is more akin to what we

-- the direction we want to go.  In other words,

let's declare a truce.  Let's declare peace.  Let's

say that just because you use a substance doesn't

mean that you are a bad person.  You like the way

it feels.  She is right.  Drugs do work in the

inner city when there is no hope for anything and

you can spend $10, get on the end of that crack

pipe and have an orgasmic, euphoric 15 minutes away

from your normal situation in life, you are going

to do it.  And it's hard to resist that when you

have nothing else.

It's even hard to resist it if you are a kid out in

the suburbs and you do have a future ahead of you,

but at least you have something to fight that high


No one is with us -- go around the city.  Rolling

papers are at absolutely every convenience store. 

It's too late.  If it was up to me, I would

legalize marijuana tomorrow.  And I would start

looking at what we can do with heroin and cocaine,

but forgive the hypocrisy and this country is

absolutely amazing and marijuana is part of our

culture now.  If you think we are going to get rid

of it, a weed that you can grow in your closet and

you don't have to put it through any kind of

chemical process or anything like that, if you

think we are going to get rid of that, forget it. 

There are farmers out in Kentucky and Tennessee

making their livings off of it.  Now, you shut it

down at the borders, it's a weed you can grow.  

Let's some sanity into this thing and I'm looking -

this is a hopeful day for me because I own two

properties in the city, but I am not going to

invest another dime until I start seeing -- because

the drug war is what's ruining this city and other

cities like it.  And as a guy who financially -- I

am not going to invest any more money here until we

start making some rational sense out of this.

Thank you very much.  I appreciate it.

REP. LAWLOR:  It's funny you bring up the hypocrisy

topic because there was a period of time on this

committee, the Judiciary Committee -- we interview

all the judges and we decide whether or not we will

approve the Governor's recommendation and it was

like six or seven years ago there was a short

period of time where every nominee was asked if

they had ever smoked marijuana.  And a lot of them

told the truth and a lot of them didn't.  And --

but a lot -- you know, it --

DAREL COLLINS:  That's exactly it.

REP. LAWLOR:  -- and you mentioned what amount of --

DAREL COLLINS:  You can't have an honest conversation

about this because it is illegal and nobody can

talk about it.  And if you smoked marijuana for

five years and it was no problem, you got bored

with it and walked away from it and now you are

sitting in that chair up there, that's great.  But

you can't talk about it.  

REP. LAWLOR:  And these are men and women who had

something else going for them in their lives --


REP. LAWLOR:  - - and dealt with it and moved on and I

am sure they wouldn't recommend it to their kids,

but it was reality and theoretically they could

have gone to jail.  Just like Don Imus or anybody

else whose --

DAREL COLLINS:  My drug of preference was alcohol.  In

1984 I said this substance is ruining my life.  I

can walk across the street and buy it legally, but

it is ruining my life.  I have to give it up.  I

didn't matter whether it was legal or illegal.  It

didn't matter.  It was my choice in life at that


REP. LAWLOR:  Representative Farr.

REP. FARR:  I just want to make a quick comment where I

am coming from in the question of drug use in the

city because my office is in the city.  I live four

blocks over the line in West Hartford.  

And when you talk about the sale destroying the

city, the use is destroying the city.  I have

represented a 13 year old boy in juvenile court who

was reported to his psychologist that he was very

hostile towards his mother.  And he was hostile

towards his mother because his mother and her

boyfriend were living in the house with the boy and

his sister and they were using drugs and there no

spoons in the house because they used all the

spoons to cook their drugs and at Christmas time

they took the donated Christmas presents, the

donated Christmas turkey and the boy's bike and

they sold them for drugs.  And that's the reality

of what's going on in the city and it's not simply

a question of who is doing the sales and drug wars,

it's also the destruction that it's causing within

the families of many of the residents of the cities

and some of the suburban settings and that's my

concern with the drug problems.

DAREL COLLINS:  I agree, but the fact that it's illegal

exacerbates exactly what you are saying.  A guy who

drinks alcohol and beats up his wife, at least that

can be talked about or be brought out in the open. 

Is a heroin a bad thing?  Yes.  I was around drugs

all my life.  I stayed right away from heroine. 

Walked right away because I knew what that was

going to do, that that was addictive.  It was an

opia that once it gets a hold of you, that -- you

are right, but why do they have to do that? 

Because it's illegal and because it costs so much. 

Wino's are not breaking into your car and stealing

your stereo to buy wine.  

REP. FARR:  I just point out that they are not using the

drug because it is illegal.  They are using drugs

for whatever benefit their perceive from the use of

the drugs.  The question - the problem is if you

say well it's illegal to use the crack or whatever

they are using, then that somehow is promoting the

use.  I mean, there is no basis for that argument. 

That's just silly. That's not going to prevent it.

If you say it was cheaper then they wouldn't have

to sell the Christmas turkey, I suppose maybe they

wouldn't sell the Christmas turkey, but believe me,

there is no indication that they wouldn't be doing

other irrational things. I mean, these are people

that are abusing drugs and frankly, not taking care

of the family.  And it's the kids that are paying

the price.

DAREL COLLINS:  Well there is going to be people who

make bad choices and bad decisions.  If crack

cocaine was legal tomorrow, would you go out and

buy it and use it?  Would you?  Would anyone?  No. 

People make bad choices.

SEN. HARP:  You know, I just wanted to respond to

something that you said about children selling

drugs and I know in my community, before I was a

State Senator I was on the Board of Alderman and

about -- it's the same year actually that the

little child was killed in the school bus because

of shots trying to defend turf.  In my ward, which

is a small area in New Haven, at about 2:15 --

school gets out at two o'clock, this 19 year old

boy was killed in the street in front of the school

as the kids were getting on the school bus and I

wonder in my mind like who -- what kind of a

society would allow that to happen?  I wonder about

the trauma, not just of the family of the child who

died in the street that day, but all of those

children of those five buses, those 200 kids who

witnessed another young person dying in the street

over the sale of marijuana.  And it just seems to

me that a compassionate society, a sane society

that wants to protect children wouldn't want to

have that kind of stuff happening in its streets in

front of schools and if they policies that a

society has don't lead to something that stops that

from happening, then we have, I believe, the wrong

policies, irrespective of whether we medicalize it,

or its impact. The fact that in my community three

blocks from my house children are traumatized on a

daily basis.  They play how to sell drugs.  They

take from the sandbags and they put in little

baggies pretend drugs.  They teach each other as

little kids how to sell.  What kind of society

develops that as an only economic option for its


I think we are better than that.

DAREL COLLINS:  And the five year olds are rolling up

one pant leg outside my house down there because

all the bigger ones -- that's their role model and

as long as there is big money to be made in a

community where otherwise there is no money, and as

long as those guys come cruising down there with

their 500 watt stereos and their gold hanging off

their necks, the kids in my house -- I see them. 

They go running over to the car and boy aren't you

wonderful and aren't you big.  I want to be just

like you.  And that's what's happening.  They are

not looking at me, the poor struggling landlord

that is trying to keep a three family house painted

up and trying to keep the bureaucracies at bay and

all the things.  What I am doing is something

achievable.  These kids are either going to be a

drug dealer or they are going to be an MBA

basketball star, but they never thought about hey,

maybe I could own a couple of houses on this


REP. LAWLOR:  Okay, if there are no other questions,

thanks very much.

DAREL COLLINS:  Thank you.

REP. LAWLOR:  Mark Kinsly.  Is Mark Kinsly here? 


MARK KINSLY:  I will keep this short.  One of -- it has

been an interesting day.  I was coming up here to

see my friend, Imani and I was asked to share a few

things, but while I was sitting here I was thinking

about the war on drugs and I just read recently

that how during the Bush administration we spent

$120 billion on the war on drugs and it's been

pretty effective, don't you think?

REP. LAWLOR:  Oh, yeah.

MARK KINSLY:  And you know, while I was sitting here, a

lot of the topics that were brought up was about

drugs in the prison systems and drugs outside.  I

have run the needle exchange program in Bridgeport

and one of the things that is so important to me is

the compassion that we need to show individuals

that are out there struggling and when we talk

about the drugs in the prison system and stuff like

that, from my own personal experience and

individuals that I deal with on a daily basis, it

was easier for me to purchase drugs in prison than

it is out here on the street.  It may have been

more expensive, but it was just as accessible and

there were times when I came out of prison with a

bigger habit than I went in with.

But the other thing was that you know, that the

compassion, the things that I see on the streets of

Bridgeport on a daily basis and what Senator Harp

was talking about.  See, that's the stuff that

keeps me going, that heartfelt stuff is seeing

these young brothers and sisters out there that

really, really believe.  They don't think there is

a different way.  They believe it deep down inside

that there isn't a different way.  They believe it. 

And I talk with these young brothers and sisters

every day and they, to the core of their hearts,

believe they have two options.  And that is to die

on the street or to go to prison.  That's their two

options.  School is not an option anymore.  They

are not learning in there.  They are not learning

in there.  

Some of the things that I see on the street are

horrifying to me. For someone who is a recovering

addict and who has been clean for years, but used

drugs on the streets of up and down the east coast,

for seventeen years, I am telling you it's twice as

horrifying out there than it ever was. 

My idols were people that wore a shark skin pants

and a (INAUDIBLE) shirt and that's what I grew up

idolizing, okay.  I never saw the violence that I

see on a daily basis today.  

Where I grew up it was, for me, the way that I was

used in this drug war is that I ran the drugs

because they guaranteed that I wouldn't get pulled

over because of the color of my skin and that's the

truth of the matter.

Nowadays I see it every day. It is so

disproportionate of what is going on in the

communities, especially in the communities that I

serve.  How come 80% of all drugs consumed in this

country are by caucasians, but all the time I see

the Latinos and African-Americans being locked up

every day?  And the Whites are coming in and

buying, but they don't get arrested like these

other people.  It's just -- it hits me deep in my

heart and I travel -- you know, I travel all over

the country and I hear all this rhetoric and you

know what, and I believe that most of the

individuals that are doing the work that you are

doing have good hearts.  But you don't know what

it's about out there.  You don't know what it feels

like. You don't know the deprivation and

degradation that individuals in those situations go


If I was living in the situations that most of the

individuals that are living in the housing

developments that I go to every day, you can best

believe that drugs would become nothing but a

necessity.  It is not an option in a lot of these

households.  It is a survival.  You have to use to

deal with what's going on around you.  It is


When I walk up into a housing development and the

young kids have the same access to seeing a young

girl, 27 years old with five bullet holes through

her head because she didn't have enough for a bag

of dope, there is something wrong with that.  These

kids are seeing this stuff.  And you know what,

it's cool to them because that means they are part

of when they see that stuff and they walk out here

and when people go out there to cop drugs, these

young kids at 10, 11, 12 years old, all they do --

now they are beat down crew.  It used to be when

you used to go cop drugs, you were worried about

the stick-up boy.  Now you are not worried about

the stick-up boy no more.  You are worried about

the 10, 11, and 12 year old kids beating you up and

taking your stuff. And then selling it because that

is all they see out there.

I know deep in my heart that there is hope.  And I

believe that on a daily basis.  I wouldn't continue

doing what I am doing.  I handled the most famous

athlete in this country for four years when I was

shooting dope.  Addicts can perform functionally if

given the opportunity.  But there is a lot of -- I

hear so much of what is going on.  I'm grateful to

my sister Imani for coming here. She has taught me

a lot of stuff and I am grateful that there is a

dialect going on in Connecticut.  We are fortunate

here.  We are blessed here.  And I need to commend

the people who have already done some great work.

Senator Harp has done tremendous work in this, you

know, with needle exchange and the things that I

believe strongly on.  There is so much more that we

can do as a state to be the leader around this

country and I hope that we continue to have this

and not just to talk.  We need to implement some

stuff because what we are doing now ain't working. 

It just ain't working.  You know.  

Thank you.

REP. LAWLOR:  Thank you.  Okay.  Jay Arthur.  Is Jay

still here?  John Kardars.

JOHN KARDARS:  Good afternoon.  My name is John Kardars.

For the record, I am an attorney and I run the

criminal justice program in Bridgeport serving

approximately 1,200 to 1,400 people every year,

most of which are substance abusers.

I have been involved in similar alternate drug

policy -- alternative drug policy recommendations

for the last five or six years.  My interest began

to peak with the exponential growth in the

Department of Corrections and the ten years that I

have worked for the agency I work for, I have

witnessed to daylight, broad daylight shootings in

Bridgeport.  I have had my secretary's husband

murdered and we average -- my agency, on average,

loses one to two clients a month through homicide

or back to the correction system for having

committed a homicide almost overwhelmingly under

the influence of drugs or alcohol or over drug


What I have noticed over the years is that I have

learned about the iron law of prohibition and that

is the tougher the penalties made for possession

and delivering drugs, the more concentrated and

more potent they become on the streets.

An example, it was during prohibition, people

didn't drink wine and beer, they drank gin and

whiskey.  In the mountains of the Andes people chew

on leaves that gets converted to crack cocaine,

probably the most potent direct source in the blood

stream you can get.  In the farms of Turkey and in

Asia, most medicine contain a ball of opium which

is used for folk medicine purposes.  And in the

countries where drinking is very much part of the

culture people generally drink beer and wine and

don't have the degrees of alcoholism that they do

in other cultures where it is prohibited.

What I've noticed is that younger people are

getting involved earlier in the criminal justice

system than when I was an adolescent.  The people

that, in many cases, there have been more -- for

smaller amounts, stricter sentencing and earlier

connections with the system. 

I also have read the Law Review Commission's

recommendations and I found that probably the best

well written, most thought out policy by any

government body that I have -- governmental agency

that I have ever read.  I have seen similar

recommendations coming up from non-governmental

organizations from bar associations and for other

think tanks that would promote such things

independently, but seeing it coming from a state

agency, I am very impressed with the amount of

knowledge and detail that is in it and with just

the same public policy recommendations.  Nobody is

saying drugs are good.  Nobody is saying it's okay

to use drugs.  Nobody is putting them (INAUDIBLE)

on drug use, but you also realize that there are

failings and abilities of the government to control

such things.

The fact of the matter is that substances have been

with us since the dawn of mankind and will continue

to be so and that they cannot be legislated out.  

At one point during the Middle Ages, German

soldiers smoking tobacco fields were similarly

executed for using substances.  That in some

countries, Malaysia, for example, has a very bad

drug problem, yet drug dealing is a death penalty

offense there.  And that we cannot legislate our

way out of this mess.  We cannot incarcerate our

way out of the drug problem.  The best way to deal

with it is on a public health basis with the

emphasis on treatment and education.  I know I am

speaking to the convinced here.  I can see the


But nonetheless, I needed to get it on the record

that sometimes science and thought move faster than

politics, but there needs to be a start and

Connecticut is as good a place as any to begin the

process from declaring war on our citizens and our

cities with all the collateral damage that entails

to families and the huge race of resources that we

are spending while cutting back on -- as Chairman

Lawlor says, we are spending less money on higher

education that we are at criminal justice and

seeing how much of that is related to substance


The last time I toured the Bridgeport Avenue jail,

with a Deputy Warden, there was more marijuana in

the air as we were walking through the cell blocks

since the last Grateful Dead concert I was at.  And

this is with Deputy Warden in attendance with

correctional officers on site.  We walked into a

cell block where there was no marijuana smoke.  The

inmates would surround us and talked with us and we

walked into a cell block where there was a lot of

marijuana smoke, everybody disappeared in their

cells and wouldn't give us eye contact.  But the

fact of the matter is that no government body is

able to legislate people away from using substances

and that we should do what we can to make the

problem more controllable, to make our system more

humane, to work with what we can and there is a

presence of other places in the world on this

happening.  And my hope is that the rest of the

Legislature will catch up to what works.  

Thank you.



Juliet Alberman.

JULIET ALBERMAN:  I am a graduate researcher at the

University of Connecticut.  I am about to receive

my Masters degree in behavioral pharmacology and in

two years I will receive my doctorate.  

I am a member of the Society for (INAUDIBLE) and I

am also a member of the International (INAUDIBLE)

Research Society.  It is very unfortunate that that

lady from the school drug prevention program with

her two cheerleaders aren't here to listen to what

I have to say because what I have to say is very

important. I actually brought documentation to back

up what I have to say.

I brought two books with me.  Both written by

Doctor Lester Grenspoon of the Harvard Medical

Center.  One is called "Marijuana, The Forbidden

Medicine".  One is called, "Marijuana

Reconsidered".  This was written in 1971 and I

think given a new introduction in 1991 and this was

very recent.

I am a major proponent of medical marijuana

decriminalization.  And I would just like to say

for the record that nobody who is advocating

decriminalization wants teens to have free access

to marijuana.  That's not the goal here and it

frightens me that we lump marijuana with cocaine

and heroin when we talk about these statistics.  

I really wish those two -- those three women were

here because they were spouting off all these

statistics and I really wanted to ask them where

did they get this information, who did they poll,

what basis do they have to substantiate the claim

that if people are allowed to grow this at home for

medical use that it's going to get into the hands

of teenagers.  I have never seen any evidence to

substantiate that and the lady asked if this was

worth it to decriminalize marijuana and I would say

yes, it is worth it.

My grandfather has prostate cancer and it costs him

$200 a month to stay on the anti-nausea drugs

whereas medical marijuana would be substantially

less expensive and not cause as many side effects. 

These people who are very anti-medical marijuana or

marijuana decriminalization constantly spout off

statistics that no evidence exists to support the

medical benefit of marijuana.  I am here to show

you that these two books are here.  There is

evidence.  This is a copy of a letter that Doctor

Grenspoon wrote to the Journal of the American

Medical Association in 1995.  In fact, begging the

medical community to start speaking out in favor of

medical marijuana.  

I have an editorial here by a researcher who was

paid by NIDA to find the deleterious effects of

marijuana and sadly reported that he could find

none, yet all this anti-drug or anti-marijuana

literature claims -- like he wrote here,

exaggerated claims concerning adverse side effects,

but there is no information or there are no studies

to back this claim.   No actual research was

actually mentioned in these pamphlets.  

That was my point for coming here today.  I am

really sorry that the audience that probably could

have benefitted most from what I had to say or what

I had to show them is not here, but I followed her

out after she left and gave her a copy of the

letter by Dr. Grenspoon.  

Everybody here today has very eloquently stated

that the drug policy is not working. I think we

just need to change our attitude about drugs, not

lump all drugs together, in particular, medical

marijuana. I just think that the benefits are

obvious and people are ignoring them and I don't

know if it is that you are not getting the

information that I can find by looking in these

medical journals or you know, you didn't know it

was there or a woman like that doesn't know it's

out there.  I can't understand how these people can

claim that no evidence exists to support these

claims.  I got this in in a Border's Book Store,

you know.  That's out there.  So, I just wanted to

say that for the record.

SEN. HARP:  Can I ask you a question?


SEN. HARP:  So in terms of marijuana being a carcinogen

then, can you tell me a little bit about that?


SEN. HARP:  Could you compare it to tobacco, for


JULIET ALBERMAN:  Okay.  Marijuana is a carcinogen.

Nothing is a panacea, okay.  We thought that Eldopo

was the cure for Parkinson's 40 years ago.  It has

since proven not be so effective.  Marijuana is not

one hundred percent good for you.  It can be

consumed to excess and there are people who abuse

it and I don't think that anybody who is a medical

marijuana proponent would deny that.  The evidence

that I have seen has shown that if you are allowed

to consume a very potent form of Delta 9THC, the

active component of the plant, you have to smoke

less and it causes less alveolar damage to the

lungs.  People who smoke tobacco tend to smoke

constantly throughout the day.  A pack a day habit,

I guess, is average for American smokers.  People

who smoke marijuana for medical benefit usually

have to take four doses per day.  That's one

inhalation four times a day.  So the number of pack

years as Doctor Grenspoon talks about in this book

is substantially lower than people who smoke


People who smoke tobacco in combination with

marijuana are, unfortunately, the worst off. But I

think if people are allowed to grow very potent

forms of the drug, evidence has shown that people

will consume that which they need. You can't

overdose on marijuana. It doesn't kill brain cells. 

And there is not one single documented case of a

marijuana overdose and a marijuana death.  

People do use it in combination with other very

dangerous drugs, but alone it can cause lung

cancer, but the evidence shows that people will

consume as little as they have to get the desired

effect.  It is a carcinogen, though.  I mean -- but

it has to be consumed to a much greater extent than

the average person who needs it for medical use

would consume it.

SEN. HARP:  Have there been any studies?  Because one of

the things that the lady whose name I forgot -- Ms.

Patrick, I guess, talked about was it being a

feeder drug.  Is it anymore of a feeder drug than

say cigarettes?

JULIET ALBERMAN:  Okay.  I just recently - I wish to God

I had brought that here because I heard -- are you

talking about the Gateway Drug Theory?  Okay.  

I just recently read a report by a Dutch researcher

who did a very extensive study of heroin addicts in

I think it was Holland and Denmark -- European

countries because unfortunately American

researchers don't get federal funding to drug

studies unless they are going to show bad things.

He showed that 75% of people who were addicted to

heroin had at one time in their life, used

marijuana.  But 90% of those people had used

alcohol at one time in their life prior to heroin. 

Now, perhaps using alcohol is different because it

is legal. You don't have to go through the illegal

means -- you know, by which to get marijuana and

maybe that's how some people who use marijuana and

then sort of graduate to higher drugs like cocaine

and heroin, it introduces them to people who can

get that for them.  So in that aspect it may be a

gateway drug, but I have seen very little evidence

to substantiate that.  

Most drug addicts that seek rehabilitation or

treatment are poli-drug users and they may at one

time have reported that they have used marijuana,

but they have also reported that they have used

tobacco and alcohol.  So I don't really understand

why we are not calling alcohol a gateway drug, but

we call marijuana a gateway drug.  I have never

understood that.  There's very little evidence to

support that.

SEN. HARP:  Thank you.

JULIET ALBERMAN:  You are welcome.  

REP. SCALETTAR:  Actually, I would take that one step

further.  I always wonder about that whole theory

the way it's constructed because it seems to me you

could probably say 100% of those people started out

on milk.


REP. SCALETTAR:  Milk is the gateway.

JULIET ALBERMAN:  Milk is the gateway drug.

REP. SCALETTAR:  The more significant statistic, I would

think is to say well how many people who use

marijuana go on to use other drugs or how many

people who use tobacco or who use alcohol, but that

whole concept, I think, is -- I am not a

statistician, but I think the common sense tells me

that the whole approach is wrong.


REP. SCALETTAR:  So I think you could probably refute it

in even stronger terms.

JULIET ALBERMAN:  Right.  I am going to the

International (INAUDIBLE) Research Society

conference in June.  It will be my first time

attending the conference and I know that that's

probably one of the things that we will talk about

is how do we refute or provide solid evidence in

reputable medical journals that refutes this whole

gateway theory?  Because I believe that -- it takes

a long time to find studies that do not

substantiate that claim, but in order for us to

come forth or come in front of you and tell you

that that's the truth, we need -- you know, we need

good scientific studies.  

I hope that -- I guess Bill Clinton just -- I don't

know, through which organization, but donated a $1

million to the National Academy of Science to do a

thorough literature review of the evidence that

exists to support medical marijuana and the

evidence, I guess, that's -- you know, that shows

its substantiates it adverse affects and hopefully,

you know, that information will be more readily

available or you know, people will not have to dig

like I have had to do.  It's hard to find the

research that supports what we all know to be true

of for what some of us know to be true.

REP. LAWLOR:  And something tells me that the fact that

medical marijuana may be a carcinogen is not such a

big deal to people who are using it to counteract

the side affects of chemotherapy because they have


JULIET ALBERMAN:  That's exactly right and the AIDS

wasting syndrome.  That's exactly right.  

REP. LAWLOR:  Okay.  Thanks very much.  Thanks for



And you know, that hearing is going to be on March

20th, next Thursday.  

SEN. HARP:  We are having a hearing on medical marijuana

use on March 20th.


SEN. HARP:  The Public Health Committee is having a

hearing on the medical use of marijuana on March

20th.  It would be nice if you would come.

JULIET ALBERMAN:  Oh, I would love to come.  What day of

the week is that?

REP. LAWLOR:  Thursday. 

(Whereupon, the public hearing was adjourned.)