May 13, 2015

Cops Decide Heroin Addicts Will Be Helped With Rehab, Not Arrested - Gloucester, MA

People who turn in their drugs to the Gloucester Police Department and ask for help won’t be arrested, they’ll be rehabilitated.

Additionally, the department will start using money seized from drug dealers to provide addicts’ families and pharmacies with Narcan free of charge. The life-saving drug, if administered at the scene, can reverse an overdose.

Chief Leonard Campanello announced over the weekend that any “addict” who walks into their department with drugs and paraphernalia will not be criminally charged.Matters-MN-charity-food-boxes-FB 

“We will assign them an ‘angel’ who will be their guide through the process. Not in hours or days, but on the spot,” Campanello told Massachusetts Live. “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.”

Campanello, who spent seven years as a plainclothes narcotics detective, has posted the plan on Facebook, asking people to “Like” the post and “create strength in numbers.” Nearly 29,000 have shared the post so far.
So far, he’s gotten support from the Lahey Hospital and Medical Center and Gloucester’s Addison Gilbert Hospital, who have agreed to expedite care for police referrals.

He is currently planning his trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with the state’s two Democratic senators, Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, as well as U.S. Rep. Seth W. Moulton, D-Salem.


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