In Paris, action against crack blocked by political disagreements

The situation has cause for despair for residents of traffic and consumption points: in Paris, the fight against crack seems frozen. Jelly. The systems already in place are continuing, but the additional projects which were to see the light of day to really stem the rise of this “poor man’s drug” remain in the pipeline. “The mobilization has gradually weakened, the initial dynamic of the crack plan has subsided”, notes the Court of Auditors in a “flash audit” made public on Wednesday 8 December. While in spring 2020 the health crisis had “Urgently imposed the intense mobilization of all stakeholders”, the meetings have become “Less frequent, less conclusive”, relates the Court, which evokes “The loss of a shared vision”. She calls for “Additional efforts” urgently.

“It’s the status quo, everything is at a standstill”, is also alarmed Nathalie Latour, general delegate of the Addiction Federation, which brings together specialized associations. In mid-November, the federation wrote a letter to the prime minister, Jean Castex, and the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, asking them to relaunch cooperation on the subject. “Yes, there are no more new projects, and everything has come to a halt, or almost”, confirms a senior official kept anonymous. Emmanuel Grégoire, the first deputy of the town hall of Paris, is one of the few to display a certain optimism. “A common strategy has been defined, which the Court of Auditors report helps to validate, affirms the elected socialist. Things are progressing, even if the state is struggling to implement the Prime Minister’s arbitrations. “

No follow-up to the 2019-2021 plan

It is at the door of La Villette (19e arrondissement) that the weakness of public action is best seen. On September 24, the police transferred there, in a small public garden stuck on the edge of the ring road, the 100 or 200 crack addicts who previously roamed rue Riquet, a little further in the center of the arrondissement. This solution “Can only last a few hours or a few days”, said shortly after the Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin, in front of the deputies. Two and a half months later, almost nothing has changed. About a hundred “crackers” are still there, in great precariousness. Despite the winter, the rain, the cold, this temporary camp has been established over time. Since the beginning of December, the social and psychological support of these consumers in great distress has been stepped up, with a bus that comes to meet them every afternoon. “Proof that everything is not blocked”, we plead to the regional health agency.

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