This has already gotten a lot of attention, but it’s pretty great. I hope they are provided the resources to meaningfully assist people seeking help.
Police chief Leonard Campanello announced on the department’s Facebook page that, starting June 1, any addict who voluntarily brings in their stash won’t be arrested as long as they agree to get treatment, which they’ll get help paying for.
The department’s unconventional policy developed out of a recent city forum aimed at addressing the local opiate crisis, according to the post.
This year alone, four people have died from overdoses in the town that’s home to only about 30,000 people, reported. Across the state, more than 1,000 people died last year from overdoses of heroin and other opioids, according to the Boston Globe.
Recognizing that addiction is a disease that requires treatment, not punishment, the Gloucester Police Department has vowed to provide anyone who approaches the force with on-the-spot help.
Addicts will immediately be assigned an “angel” who will help guide them through the process. And, Addison Gilbert Hospital and Lahey Hospital and Medical Center have partnered with the department to help fast track anyone who seeks rehabilitation byway of the police department.
This is a good example of vast array of options between drug warrior mass incarceration and legalization.