Substance For You Supports the Gloucester Initiative
Due to the recent outbreak of overdosing of heroin in nearby counties from my hometown of Detroit, Michigan I write this with an eager sadness. I also write this with a decision, “It’s time to take action.”
According to the Detroit FreePress, heroin overdoses have reached a record high in their most recent studies, in Detroit. In 2002, there were 46 heroin deaths. In the most recent study, 233 people in 2013 fatally overdosed in Detroit city alone from heroin and another 956 deaths from unspecified drugs. The numbers from 2013 were up 18% from the previous year.
In Detroit, there are many ways that the departments involved—like the CDC—try to combat drug-induced fatalities, but none proves to be effective. Some of these methods include reducing prescription painkiller abuse, increasing access to medical treatment, and expanding the use of Naloxone. None of these seems to be bringing down numbers.
In the most recent news this proves to be a topic of fine controversy. Monroe County experiences the worst heroin outbreak in Michigan’s recent history. Monroe news states that three died within a twenty-four hour period from fatal heroin abuse. The overdoses were said to be dealt with batches of tainted drugs. The heroin was tainted with high doses of Fentanyl.
In an article just a few days later, two were arrested in Monroe County on two separate drug raids. The officers seized 10 to 15 grams of heroin at the time of this raid. The bond set for the assailants was set at $500,000. Now herein lies the question. With the money, drugs, and assets seized from these raids—that are killing and creating overdoses—what can be done with those funds?
“With the money we gain from drug seizures, what can we do to repay the addicts lives that are ruined? Most addicts don’t have funds for treatment, so how can we use this method to help?”
Well, folks. I have a solid, concrete, and initiative answer for you!
In Gloucester, Massachusetts there has been an incredible initiative started. The Gloucester Police Department has developed a new revolutionary form of treatment over incarceration.
It’s stated that any addict who wants to seek treatment can walk into the police department with their “equipment” and drugs and ask for help. According to an excerpt in the Atlantic they will be given an “angel” who will be their guide through the process and be guided toward detox and recovery.
The police department went as far to state that they will pay out of their own pocket for the treatment of nasal Narcan, known to treat detoxification symptoms safely. This will be provided to those without insurance free of cost. But how will they pay for it?
In the same article by “The Atlantic,” Gloucester states that they will pay for the treatment costs with the money seized for from drug dealers during investigations. It is, and I direct quote this said that “We will save lives with the money from the pockets of those who would take them. We recognize that nasal Narcan is not the answer, but it is saving lives and no one in this City will be denied a life-saving drug for this disease just because of a lack of insurance.” (Taken from http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/05/gloucester-massachusetts-police-department-helping-not-arresting-drug-addicts/392873/)
Narcan in recent years has spiked in cost from $22 to $44 for a 2-milliliter dose according to “The Salem News.” For drug addicts who cannot afford where their next meal is coming from or find a proper source of income when wanting to get clean, where does the money come from? Many addicts who are recovering wouldn’t do things while clean the same to get money, so the debate was started: “How do you fund getting yourself clean?”
The Gloucester Police Department has tackled that issue and is saving lives by providing free treatment to anyone who is willing enough to seek it. In fact, they have placed 137 people in treatment programs since June 1st.
Seems like a heck of a great idea for a great cause? Now the next part of our mission is to all join together and share this type of information to our local police departments and legislature. We need to make a change and that change is now. Overdosing and addictions do not wait.
There are thousands across this nation who are wanting help but cannot afford it and do not have insurance. I come across many (who will not be named) asking, “Where do I go?” when they want to get clean but simply cannot. This epidemic needs to end and it ends right here with this.
I petition here and now that by spreading this news we get all of our police departments on board! How many thousands of more lives can we save just by spreading a simple word with a very, very powerful meaning? You could be saving your child, husband, brother, sister, friend, parent, but it doesn’t start by just reading this. The movement starts by sharing this and drawing attention to this issue. Who is with me?
In the next few months I’m personally going to be contacting the Gloucester Initiative and providing myself for help. I will be creating fundraisers for addicts and those who support recovery to come together and provide sourcing for the treatment to give to our local Police Departments. I will be personally walking myself through those front doors of Police Departments demanding we start a program in each county I go to. I will be personally taking action to get those who need the help, the help they need!
We can do this and the most important part being that it continues after the reading. So if it starts with a share or telling your friend about what Gloucester is doing or even walking into your local PD and asking for a similar program, this starts with action. We are creating a social movement and it is created by you, the people. We rise together and we fall together, but the biggest thing is that we pick each other up when one has fallen. We are extremely powerful together and cannot, I say, will not fail! Let’s do this everyone! LET’S DO THIS!
For more on the Gloucester Initiative and Police Department go to http://gloucesterpd.com/2015/08/25/insight-to-recovery-joins-the-gloucester-initiative/
There is contact information telling you how to reach the man in charge of this. It also gives an address and details on the program itself from Gloucester themselves. I strongly urge you to read this, spread it, share it, tell everyone about it, you never know whose life you’ll be saving!
For the Gloucester Initiative’s non-profit organization where funds go to helping raise money for the nasal Narcan and treatment of addict’s without insurance go to the “Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative”–PAARI site: http://paariusa.org/about-us/
Head of police at Gloucester formed this non-profit to source the revolutionary idea he has made with the issue of “Treatment versus Incarceration.” Quote: “PAARI was created by Gloucester Police Chief Leonard Campanello to bridge the gap between the police department and opioid addicts seeking recovery.” “In 2015, Gloucester, Massachusetts Police Chief Leonard Campanello developed a revolutionary new way to fight the war on drugs by doing something about the demand, not just the supply. Under his plan, drug addicts who ask the police department for help will be immediately taken to a hospital and placed in a recovery program. No arrest. No jail.”
Contact PAARI by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at One Bridge St., Suite #300
Newton, MA 02458
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