The Associated Press newswire reports:
After three defendants fatally overdosed in a single week last year, it became clear that Buffalo's ordinary drug treatment court was no match for the heroin and painkiller crisis.
Now the city is experimenting with the nation's first opioid crisis intervention court, which can get users into treatment within hours of their arrest instead of days, requires them to check in with a judge every day for a month instead of once a week, and puts them on strict curfews. Administering justice takes a back seat to the overarching goal of simply keeping defendants alive.
[...] Buffalo-area health officials blamed 300 deaths on opioid overdoses in 2016, up from 127 two years earlier. That includes a young couple who did not make it to their second drug court appearance last spring. The woman's father arrived instead to tell the judge his daughter and her boyfriend had died the night before.
[...] "This 30-day thing is like being beat up and being asked to get in the ring again, and you're required to," 36-year-old Ron Woods said after one of his daily face-to-face meetings with City Court Judge Craig Hannah, who presides over the program.
Woods said his heroin use started with an addiction to painkillers prescribed after cancer treatments that began when he was 21. He was arrested on drug charges in mid-May and agreed to intervention with the dual hope of kicking the opioids that have killed two dozen friends and seeing the felony charges against him reduced or dismissed.
[...] "I don't want to die in the streets, especially with the fentanyl out there," Sammy Delgado, one of the handcuffed defendants, said.
(Score: 2, Interesting) by tcj_phx on Monday July 10 2017, @05:45PM (1 child)
I made a new friend 2.33 years ago... Towards the end of the first encounter I figured that she was 'high as a kite'. Over the course of a few months, as she gradually invited me into her life, I realized she really was self-medicating with the Street Pharmacy.
She'd relapsed on cocaine the summer before. This was on account of the depression. Then she relapsed on heroin, which was to get her blood pressure under control.
I have no experience with street pharmacy. At first I was like, "teach me about this Pharmacy". Now I understand why the classic "speedball" (heroin + cocaine) is so dangerous...
By about six months she'd realized that she didn't like being a drug addict. Success! This was entirely consistent with Johann Hari's book, Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs [chasingthescream.com], which holds that meaningful connections with others is the most important factor in helping people get their drug use under control.
Then the mental health system got hold of her. There's nothing more dangerous than a profession that thinks they know what they're doing.
(Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10 2017, @08:46PM
meaningful connections with others is the most important factor in helping people get their drug use under control
We had a previous story that riffs on this theme:
-- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]