Laslo Boyd: The Unprecedented President

Much attention has been devoted to trying to decide what psychiatric diagnosis best describes Donald Trump. Early consensus was that Trump is a textbook narcissist, but that assessment doesn’t seem nearly adequate to take in all his abnormal tendencies. Recently, some observers have compared him to an underdeveloped child,a label which may be doing most children an injustice. Does he meet the criteria to be called a sociopath? That claim has certainly been made. The problem with this line of thought, however, is that it’s irrelevant. (fromacertainpointofview)

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David A. Plymyer: A policy of severance pay in Baltimore County

The Baltimore County government has gained a reputation as being the place where openness and transparency in government have gone to die. The county's so-called "Executive Benefit Policy" and how it feathers the nests of high-ranking county officials already eligible for lucrative county pensions is another example of what happens when government is allowed to operate out of public view. (Balt. Sun)

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Minu Aghevli: HHS secretary misunderstands addiction

While Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price was in West Virginia last week, he described methadone and buprenorphine treatment for opioid use disorders as just "substituting one opioid for another." This statement swiftly drew widespread criticism from the medical community, including former Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy. On the surface, Dr. Price is correct: Both methadone and buprenorphine (brand name Suboxone) are synthetic opioids. However, taking them in the context of a treatment program is hardly the same as swapping heroin or non-prescribed pain medication for an equal vice. (Balt. Sun)

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May 16 // Sessions' foolish drug policy

The War on Drugs has been such an abject failure — the get-tough approach having served to crowd prisons with non-violent offenders who are disproportionately African-American while having little to no discernible impact on actual narcotics use — that the country's elected leaders seemed to have reached a bipartisan consensus in recent years that it was better to focus on prevention and treatment. Prosecutors should throw the book at violent, repeat criminals, but they should not pursue long mandatory, minimum sentences for suspects who don't fit that description. Clearly, somebody didn't get the word to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. (Balt. Sun)

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Connecting opioid users with resources 'Before It's Too Late'

May 14 through May 20 marks National Prevention Week, an effort by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to increase public awareness and encourage action regarding substance abuse and mental health. As part of that effort, Maryland has launched a new web portal called "Before It's Too late," a collection of resources aimed at helping to educate and prevent the rising use and abuse of heroin and opioid drugs in the state. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Will we ever know the truth about Gray's death?

More than two years after his fateful arrest, many of the details of Freddie Gray's death and the precise roles each of the six officers who encountered him that day played in the events leading up to it remain mysterious. The Baltimore Police Department now has in its possession what may well be the most definitive account of what happened that day that will ever be produced — the fruit of more than a year of work by investigators from the Montgomery and Howard county police departments. Yet it's entirely possible that we will never know what it says. (Balt. Sun)

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Andy Berges: Community can support recovering addicts

Last month I had the pleasure of spending a lunch hour with Corey Hassett, who is a former addict and resident of Berlin. He now works as a counselor/recovery coach helping guide addicts to a sober lifestyle at Amethyst Recovery Center in Florida. His goal is to come back to his roots on the Eastern Shore within 1-2 years to help combat the drug crisis in our area. When I asked Hassett what he thought was needed to minimize drug addiction within our area, his response was “after-care treatment programs and sober homes,” which are temporary housing facilities designed to assist addicts during the recovery stage after their treatment. I couldn’t agree more. (Daily Times)

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Joyce Lombardi: The contours of consent: the Rockville High rape case

One evening in December 2003, two teenage boys were riding around in a car with a girl they knew, vaguely, from their Montgomery County high school. What happened next was, like much of teenage sex itself, vague, uncomfortable and ugly. Portions of it were criminal. The whole messy encounter was detailed in a seminal Maryland case that gave a woman the right to say "no," even after she says "yes." (Balt. Sun)

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