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East Bridgewater, Mass., Police Help Addicts Get Treatment

Police Officer ThumbsUpIn East Bridgewater, Massachusetts, the police department is now going to follow in the footsteps of Gloucester police by helping drug addicts who come to the station and turn in their drugs get into treatment immediately. Gloucester has had the program going for four months and, so far, has helped 250 addicts find treatment facilities with a bed available for them.

East Bridgewater police, although they make it clear that they’re going to continue to be ‘proactive and aggressive’ when it comes to drug dealers, are going to follow the Gloucester Police Department’s program when it comes to addicts.

To find out about other help available in the area, EB HOPE, a group started by Susan Silva – who discovered that there was no place to turn when she realized that her son was an addict – will host a bi-monthly open house outreach program at the Community Covenant Church, 400 Pleasant St. in East Bridgewater, from 5 to 9 p.m. The first is on November 5. Here’s a sampling of what they’ll offer to parents, addicts and anyone else who’s interested:

  • Speak with clinicians and counselors
  • Find out what signs to look for that indicate someone has a drug problem
  • Learn to use Narcon, the drug that reverses overdoses – a real life saver that everyone who is somehow associated with addicts should have a know how to use
  • Find out about support groups and other resources for family members who live with addicts
  • Speak with former addicts who have been clean for at least two years

And they’re expecting more resources to join in.

East Bridgewater and the surrounding areas have had 12 heroin deaths this year, and the police and other concerned citizens want to put a stop to it.

“These numbers are extremely troubling and we know law enforcement must alter the way we address opioid addiction in our communities,” said East Bridgewater Police Chief John Cowan. “We have seen the success of the Gloucester ANGEL Initiative in multiple cities and towns and are inspired to create a similar program for our region.”

Focusing on opioids is no surprise. Most of the people who are dying are addicted to either prescription painkillers or heroin – painkiller addicts often move onto heroin because heroin, which is basically the same drug as that in prescription painkillers, is far cheaper, and readily available.

Susan Silva says they’re already receiving phone calls so, obviously, the community is just as concerned as they are.

If you’re looking for help, treatment, or support, be sure to drop in on November 5th.

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