A Massachusetts town undertook a rather surprising approach to inhibit opiate addiction. Located in the North West, Gloucester, a renowned fishing paradise said instead of arresting addicts that willingly surrender their drugs to police, they will provide them with the proper medication and rehabilitation.
Leonard Campanello, Police Chief in the town, said through social media that addicts will be taken through a very thorough detox and recovery process. The chief further stated that the addicts will benefit from exceptional services of dedicated professionals that will help them get clean.
Narcan, a powerful drug used to reverse opiate overdoses is already available absolutely free in one community drug store. For those unable to afford it, money from drug seizures will cover the costs for them, including those without medical insurance. The town is doing what they can to help crack down on the abuse.
Families together with law enforcement officers in many states have combined efforts to curb the threatening increase in heroin abuse. The rise has been abnormal in many suburban areas where drug addiction of this magnitude is normally uncommon. The soaring use of prescription painkillers among adults and teens, has also spurred the shocking rise in addicts.
Experts have always warned that over-prescribing of opioid medications for sports injuries and severe pain increases the chances of addiction. Anthony Pettigrew, a Drug Enforcement official based in New England came out criticizing the stereotype that heroin was majorly an urban issue. Saying it is now becoming a massive force requiring substantial resources in many towns both large and small.
Closely following the footsteps of Seattle, Washington, that begun a similar program in 2011, Cook County recommends treatment over incarceration. Gloucester has also shown its concern for the well-being of the addicted rather than throwing them in jail with no plan of treatment. Cook County’s attorney announced that he recommended most non-violent drug cases in the area receive treatment as opposed to prison.
Police Chief Campanello is prepared to visit Washington, DC and meet with lawmakers to discuss the city’s new strategy to help curb opiate addiction.
Campanello keeps his citizens updated through Facebook and social media where he posts and requests users to share. By engaging the public and the families of those affected by opiates, the town is hoping to curb the abuse. With a steady rise in nonviolent drug cases, addiction is skyrocketing but with great plans like these in place, it looks like they are headed in the correct direction in helping to cut back on the abuse.