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

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

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Photo by the Gloucester Police Department

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

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“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.


  1. I was so happy to read about this smart and compassionate way of helping heroin addicts. I understand the addiction, having a relative in recovery. Many of these addicts are very good people who after making a few poor choices are living a life of hell. This is the most rational, intelligent way of redirecting them towards recovery. Thank you to the Chief and to the Gloucester Police Department for the difference they are making.

  2. We need major policy change on Drugs in the USA, first a science based truthful listing from worst to least harmful drugs would be helpful. As it stands now in America Marijuana is as harmful as Heroin and marijuana is more harmful than meth and cocaine too. Yes that how we label marijuana, that’s what we teach our children about it, in fact marijuana isn’t the real name either, its Cannabis Hemp, just lies and lies and lies, no wonder teens find out the truth, “well I was lied to about Pot, lets try Meth now”! Their is your gateway theory people, lying about drugs! We have to get real and tell the truth about drugs. We have to say, yes alcohol, the most widely used Drug, is so much more harmful than cannabis, we have to say that Oxicotin, man made heroin, is a far worse issue than heroin due to the amount of people big pharma has hooked. The biggest truth we need to hear in the USA, Humans like to use drugs and have been doing so since we ate our first mushroom as lesser humans, hell that may be why our brains evolved into much larger and the critical thinking we have today? Humans do drugs, ok, sop how do we keep them safe and other safe, that’s the real questions and the answers many many wont like but its what will keep all safer and addicts will become productive members of our world again! Lets end the profiting of the drug war and END IT! Wake up, these police think they are being helpful to their community and that’s nice but in fact they are doing nothing but continuing a failed drug policy that will never, will never work to stop drugs or those of us that use them!