To me, this idea makes up a great alternative to incarceration. The police department of Gloucester, Massachusetts has put in place plans that allow addicts who walk into a police station asking for help to receive it—immediately—”Not in hours or days, but on the spot,” according to a Facebook post from Chief Leonard Campanello. The request is to have people bring the remainder of their drugs and equipment and they will not be charged. The arrangement begins June 1.
“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,” Chief Campanello wrote.
We need more of this type of thinking in order to help people overcome their addictions that are usually triggered by trauma and that often lead to crime.
Read coverage from the Boston Globe here.