August 6, 2014 |
AS PERVASIVE a problem as sex trafficking is in the Philadelphia region, experts in the field say that gaps in services for victims and local funding make handling the tough cases even more challenging. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Morgan, who prosecutes sex-trafficking cases in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, said she and her colleagues are constantly faced with the daunting question of how to help victims during their abusers' trials and postconviction - and too often, there is simply no place to send them for the help they need.
June 21, 2014
ISSUE | OVERDOSES Heroin proving more deadly than guns Inquirer coverage missed something very significant about heroin overdoses, which took more lives in Philadelphia in 2012 than guns: So many family members and friends of those who have overdosed on heroin feel robbed because they never even realized their loved one was having an issue until it was too late ("Heroin uptick: Is it a crisis?" June 18). This is one reason the media attention surrounding this issue has been invaluable: Parents are learning to recognize signs of drug abuse, people are noticing and talking about the issue, and those who love someone struggling with addiction can look around and see they are not alone.
June 13, 2014 |
College is supposed to be a place to open one's mind to new ideas, but too often it has become a place to begin abusing prescription drugs - assuming that wasn't first tried in high school. "Colleges get a new crop of eager high school graduates each year," U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger said in his opening remarks to a gathering Wednesday at Temple University. "Unfortunately, one of the lessons these students failed to learn in high school is the risks with prescription drugs, and that can play itself out on campuses throughout the country.
April 24, 2014
The American public has so conditioned itself to think of drug abuse as an inner-city problem seen mostly among poor black and brown people that it is jarring when reality paints a very different picture. That happened Monday when authorities announced that they had broken up a drug ring catering to privileged teens in Philadelphia's tony suburbs. Nine adults and two 17-year-olds allegedly sold drugs to students at Lower Merion, Harriton, Conestoga, and Radnor High Schools. The arrests made national news, which shows how rare major drug busts are in such settings.
March 6, 2014
The recent capture of fugitive drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán was rightly hailed for the level of cooperation it showed between the United States and Mexico. But it's doubtful that it will bring about any noticeable difference in the illegal drug trade. It's not just that others have been waiting in the wings for an opportunity to take over portions or all of the Guzmán organization's turf. It's that the fall of one kingpin isn't likely to topple the market so long as the demand from its biggest customer, the United States, continues to be huge.
March 5, 2014 |
Saying Burlington County needs to better serve the hundreds of homeless people within its borders, a faith-based group wants to create a 300-bed residence and training center for them in Lumberton - and some residents who live near the site have begun to organize in opposition. To be called Community of Hope, the facility would be on a former Nike missile base at Municipal Drive and Eayrestown Road. In recent years, the five-acre site was home to the Midway School, which has closed. "We started studying the question of what Burlington County needs five . . . years ago," Kent Pipes, president of the Affordable Homes Group in Westampton, said Monday.
February 18, 2014 |
YOU WOULDN'T think that anyone who had endured what Jaci Adams had in a life of childhood abuse, drug addiction and prison would have any right to be cheerful and friendly. And yet there Jaci was, in many a social gathering, "the brightest spot in the room," as Ronda B. Goldfein, executive director of the AIDS Law Project, put it. "All the laughter came from her corner of the room," Goldfein said. "She had a great outlook on life. " Jaci Adams, a transgender woman and an inspirational leader for others in Philadelphia's LGBT community, a busy volunteer in HIV and AIDS programs, died Saturday of cancer.
February 12, 2014
If you subscribe to the theory that good can come out of bad, you might apply it to the tragic death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman and the attention it has brought to heroin addiction in this country. The question is whether the focus will last long enough to produce meaningful results. Too often, after a celebrity has succumbed to drug abuse, the public has responded with sighs and calls for something be done, only to lapse into silence within a matter of days as eyes and thoughts are directed toward something happier - like, say, the U.S. medal count in the Olympics.
January 28, 2014
The hypocrisy surrounding U.S. marijuana policy goes all the way to the top. President Obama long ago admitted using the drug as a youth - and recently acknowledged that its risks are comparable to those of drinking - but largely hesitated to advocate mercy toward anyone indulging in the same behavior. American states and cities now mirror these contradictions, spanning the spectrum from full-blown legalization to rearguard drug war. Philadelphia, meanwhile, is nonsensically doing some of both at the same time.
January 10, 2014 |
UPPER DARBY Police on Wednesday charged a Philadelphia man with a history of driver's license suspensions and drug abuse in the hit-and-run that killed a 69-year-old man and his dog out for a walk in Upper Darby on Sunday. They said Ernest Marks should never have been behind the wheel. Marks' lawyer said the man was unaware that his vehicle had hit a person, drove away because he panicked, and was "heartbroken" when he learned that Richard Patterson and his dog, Baby, had been killed.