Police department offers heroin addicts amnesty, treatment
GLOUCESTER, MASS.- Police in the Massachusetts city of Gloucester are taking a novel approach to the war on drugs. They're making the police station a first stop for addicts on the road to recovery.
Under a policy launched in June, heroin and opioid addicts who voluntarily turn themselves in are connected to treatment services.
They aren't charged with a crime and much of their treatment costs are covered through insurance and grants. They can even hand over drugs or drug-using paraphernalia to police, no questions asked.
As of Thursday, Gloucester police say 104 addicts sought their help. All have been placed into treatment programs.
The policy, which experts say is unique in the country, has thrust this city about 40 miles north of Boston into the national discussion about opioid abuse.