Town In Massachusetts With Severe Heroin Problem Vows To No Longer Arrest Users
Hey man, this is cool! After a recent rash of deaths caused by heroin overdoses, a police department in Massachusetts is vowing to do something different.
You know, instead of just arresting people using heroin, locking them up for 48 hours or so, then dumping them out on the street with nothing more than a court date, they are going to try and help them.
Wow. Cool. It’s amazing that’s so shocking, but hey, this is the world we exists in.
Calling it an addiction problem akin to cigarettes, Gloucester County Police Chief Leonard Campanello said anyone who came to their station seeking help, even if they were holding drugs or paraphernalia, would not be arrested. Instead, addicts would immediately be given a guide to help them down the road to recovery. Campanello made the announcement in a bold Facebook post.
Any addict who walks into the police station with the remainder of their drug equipment (needles, etc) or drugs and asks for help will NOT be charged. Instead we will walk them through the system toward detox and recovery. We will assign them an “angel” who will be their guide through the process. Not in hours or days, but on the spot.
It’s pretty fucking amazing, man. Not only that, they are going to use money seized from drug dealers to help pay for Narcal, a drug used to treat overdoses. That will now be given free of charge.
The police chief there sounds pretty damn boss.
I am asking for your help. Like this post, send it to everyone you can think of and ask them to do the same. Speak your comments. Create strength in numbers. I will bring it with me to show how many voters are concerned about this issue. Lives are literally at stake. I have been on both sides of this issue, having spent 7 years as a plainclothes narcotics detective. I have arrested or charged many addicts and dealers. I’ve never arrested a tobacco addict, nor have I ever seen one turned down for help when they develop lung cancer, whether or not they have insurance. The reasons for the difference in care between a tobacco addict and an opiate addict is stigma and money. Petty reasons to lose a life.
Of course, there’s no certainty this strategy will work, but at least it seems a lot better than doing the same stupid shit we’ve tried before.