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"Help, not handcuffs": the new approach to opioid addiction in Massachusetts

Discussion in 'Heroin' started by movingforward1, Aug 13, 2015.

  1. movingforward1

    movingforward1 Active Contributor

    In recent years, opiate use and addiction in the Northeast United States has skyrocketed. Population centers always had opiate users, but even rural areas of New England have been affected.

    Methuen, Massachusetts is taking a different approach to handling opiate users and addicts. They have doubled the size of their drug unit in less than 2 years, and has hired addiction specialists to help rehabilitate addicts. Gloucester, Mass. has an even more progressive policy-- you can simply walk into the police station and ask for help with your drug addiction. 55 people have come in asking for help so far.

    Source: wcvb.com
  2. vegito12

    vegito12 Community Champion

    It is a good approach as the people need help and also locking them up can just cause them to do it again as the person may not think. there is anything to change in their life which can lead them down a bad path which is not right. I reckon that if the law decides to help the people who have addiction problems, then they may try and make positive changes, in their life which may make them fix the relationships which affected them in the first place. It will be good to see people change in their life, which will make more people get the help they need and this can lower the use of this drug.
  3. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    What a great step forward. How good does that feel when you know that you can just walk into your local police station and ask for help. I wished I had had such an opportunity when I was struggling with my alcohol addiction. I was searching desperately for someone to point me in the right direction, as places like AA were difficult to find. I remember so clearly how I desperately tried to contact someone through my local newspaper, who would listen to me and my problems and help me find the right people and places.
  4. Hyperion

    Hyperion Active Contributor

    I just moved from Mass and met many of these addicts. While I do agree most of them probably didn't deserve to be locked up, the system there was just too lenient on people who did things while high that put innocents in danger. If you overdose while driving twice and are arrested both times, you should not have your car and licence returned to you after a year. I know addiction is hard to combat, but they need to feel consequences as well. Locking them all up is too expensive, so it is good that they are taking another approach, but there didn't seem to be a lot of shame or recognition of how bad what they were doing was.
    I've heard from people that grew up there that heroin changes people in ways that are nearly impossible to recover from.
  5. Whiskers

    Whiskers Active Contributor

    Way to go as this is encouraging people to come out open to seek help for addiction.
    deanokat likes this.
  6. Nergaahl

    Nergaahl Community Champion

    This should happen EVERYWHERE. I am sure that drug addicts regret it and really want some help, but they are afraid that if they do so they will get arrested. This is a very nice policy, and I love it!
    deanokat likes this.
  7. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    It is nice that there are some them who voluntarily ask for help and wanting to quit addiction. It is a nice program since they are aware that there are help available for them and that there are open doors for good changes.
    deanokat likes this.
  8. Matthodge1

    Matthodge1 Community Champion

    Hopefully, this approach will start to work for Massachusetts. I think that this is a good idea, but not for repeat offenders. I think they need to serve their time.
  9. Damien Lee

    Damien Lee Community Champion

    It's terrible to hear about the rising use of opiates in those areas. However, it's reassuring that these positive steps have been taken. Locking these folks up won't help solve the problem but only make it worse. Those addiction specialists have their work cut out for them but must be commended for the good they will be doing those communities.
  10. kgord

    kgord Community Champion

    Whatever it takes, most addicts if given an opportunity to get help often take it. Removing the substance from their life is all it takes for some. More addicts would probably get help if they didn't fear going to jail, but for some, jail may be their "bottom" so I hope this works in Methuen, Mass. If it does, maybe the program will be implemented nation wide.
  11. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    This to me is absolutely the direction in which drug use needs to be treated. The root cause of the problem needs to be treated, rather than just assuming someone needs to be in jail for breaching the law. Once that root cause is identified then the individual can get more customized help and really work towards overcoming their addiction.
  12. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    Interesting seems like a good thing. Offering help instead of punishment. Some people like rehab or having controlled situations. Jail to some people seems like a good thing to them. Complete escapism. Well whatever works for them.