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Gloucester won't arrest drug addicts who come to station

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GLOUCESTER, Mass. (AP) — Police in Gloucester are promising heroin addicts that they won't be arrested if they bring their drugs to the police station.

Chief Leonard Campanello says instead, addicts will be given help.

Addicts who come to the station with their heroin, needles and other paraphernalia will be connected immediately with a volunteer who will bring them to an emergency room, if necessary, and help them find detox and treatment programs. Already 40 to 50 people have volunteered for the program.

Police are working with area hospitals and pharmacies as well, to provide free doses of the opioid-reversing drug Narcan to addicts without health insurance.

Campanello says the city needs innovative ways to battle the scourge of opioid addiction that state officials say claimed more than 1,000 lives in Massachusetts last year.

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