The so-called War on Drugs has turned into an endless struggle, crowding prisons with addicts who resume their habits when they’re back on the street. An epidemic of deaths from overdoses of heroin has led to a dramatic strategic change.
The Obama White House is spending $5 million to help fight abuse of heroin in a new and different way. Instead of a crime leading to arrest and punishment in prison, drug addiction is being dealt with as a public health issue. In two Massachusetts communities, police departments are offering amnesty… if addicts will agree to treatment.
Frederick Ryan is Chief of Police in Arlington, Massachusetts.