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Author Topic: Greenfield Police Department takes novel approach to heroin battle  (Read 843 times)

Z

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Greenfield Police Department takes novel approach to heroin battle
UPDATED 8:25 PM CST Jan 20, 2016 http://www.wisn.com/news/greenfield-police-department-takes-novel-approach-to-heroin-battle/37538552


 GREENFIELD, Wis. — A Milwaukee-area police department is changing the way it deals with heroin addicts by getting them help instead of arresting them.

Two hundred twenty people died in Milwaukee County in 2014 from heroin and other opiates, 10 times the number from a decade earlier for the entire state. The alarming rise in deaths from heroin and prescription opiates, like OxyContin, has led to a statewide media blitz, community summits and education campaigns, but the city of Greenfield is launching a novel program launching this week. “We're on the front lines of this heroin epidemic,” Greenfield Police Chief Brad Wentlandt said. Wentlandt said his department encountered nearly 500 heroin addicts last year, many of them repeatedly. “We just came to the realization that we weren't really doing anything to solve the problem. We were simply arresting and ticketing or arresting and referring to Circuit Court, and there was no follow up that would in any way give these young people an opportunity to get better,” Wentlandt said.

Their solution is to offer treatment as an alternative to arrest and prosecution. It's modeled after a program in Gloucester, Massachusetts, but a first in Wisconsin.
“If they express a desire to get clean and sober, we're going to provide every possible resource for them, and that goes for paying for their treatment if necessary,” Wentlandt said.

To fund the treatment, the police department will use money seized in the past from drug dealers, apply for grants and partner with local agencies like Aurora and Impact.
“They know that incarcerating clients isn't the way to go, that treatment is really working with clients. So I think this is great that Greenfield Police Department is trying this project,” said Patricia Gutierrez, of Impact Drug Abuse Services.
“Frankly, writing more tickets and issuing more criminal charges isn't going to save any of them. Detox and treatment is going to save them,” Wentlandt said.
The chief said for now, the program is limited to Greenfield residents, but he hopes it will be so successful that other departments in the area will adopt the same philosophy.
The program also establishes an amnesty program of sorts. Users can go the police station and turn in their drug paraphernalia without fear of arrest. They will then get the department's assistance in getting drug treatment.
The state Senate is also looking for new ways to combat heroin. It is looking at several bills that would track prescription drugs, because prescription drug abuse can lead to heroin addiction.

One bill would require pharmacists to enter prescriptions into a statewide database within 24 hours.
Others would require police officers who find an opiate prescription at an overdose scene to enter it in the database. Methadone and pain clinics would also have to register with the state.

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« Last Edit: January 22, 2016, 01:11:13 PM by Z »
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Re: Greenfield Police Department takes novel approach to heroin battle
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2016, 02:39:59 PM »
YES YES YES!!!!!!!!




This is what we need to see more of, now, the fact that they can't take people that are caught with minimal amounts of heroin, and NOT charge them, but instead have them sent to treatment, kinda sucks. BUt we all have to know at this point it's all about the $$ for a lot of these departments.
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Re: Greenfield Police Department takes novel approach to heroin battle
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2016, 04:12:43 PM »
The part about a drug user getting treatment if they desire it is good. But people shouldn't be arrested for changing their mood chemically, nor should someone selling the chemicals, in the first place. But under a total, across-the-board legalization regime, the sellers would be legitimate businesses (not necessarily "brick and mortar" type stores, though). The drugs would be required to pass purity tests and be labeled accurately as to content and dosage. Super-dangerous, untested new drugs would of course be prohibited.

With a situation like the one in Greenfield, you are going to have scores of people who don't need treatment asking for it, just to avoid prosecution, and people who don't need treatment being forced into it - along with lifelong, or for at least multi-year monitoring commitments of 12-step meetings attendance, counseling sessions, the whole nine. Money money money! They really don't care if it comes from drug dealers' seized assets (which is a whole nother problem in and of itself - don't get me started on that one) or taxpayer dollars.

You know, I'm surprised that they (the "man") haven't yet taken that whole seizing of assets of drug dealers to the level of seizing drug users' assets too, like one's bank account, money in his wallet, fancy clothes he's wearing...everything.
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"The future ain't what it used to be."
"When you come to a fork in the road, take it."
"You can observe a lot just by watching."
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"Drugs are so fucking good....that they'll ruin your life."
- Louis C.K.

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