By Alexa Erickson | Collective Evolution
It’s undeniable that the drug epidemic in America is out of control. But who is to blame, and how can we end it? There are various issues to look at concerning the war on drugs, but opioids remain a significant area of focus.
But the prevalence of this problem is helping to instigate change more awareness about alternative options are out there. One police chief in Massachusetts thought a better option than the current model would be to actually help drug addicts instead of throwing them behind bars. And so the Angel Program came to be.
In 2015, former Gloucester police chief Leonard Campanello announced addicts would have the opportunity to walk into a police station on their own terms, hand over their drugs, and go to treatment without being arrested or receiving any sort of charges.
An explanation of the program on the Gloucester Police Department’s website reads:
If an addict comes into the Gloucester Police Department and asks for help, an officer will take them to the Addison Gilbert Hospital, where they will be paired with a volunteer “ANGEL” who will help guide them through the process. We have partnered with more than a dozen additional treatment centers to ensure that our patients receive the care and treatment they deserve — not in days or weeks, but immediately.