Sunday, July 16, 2017

On crime, policing and addiction in small-town New Hampshire

This feature appeared in today's New York Times Magazine, "A Small Town Police Officer's War on Drugs," dateline Laconia, New Hampshire, population 15,951:
In September 2014, Eric Adams became the first person in New England — to his knowledge, the only person in the country — whose job title is prevention, enforcement and treatment coordinator. ‘‘I never thought I’d be doing something like this,’’ he told me. ‘‘I learned fast.’’ The department printed him new business cards: ‘‘The Laconia Police Department recognizes that substance misuse is a disease,’’ they read. ‘‘We understand you can’t fight this alone.’’ On the reverse, Adams’s cellphone number and email address were listed. He distributed these to every officer on patrol and answered his phone any time it rang, seven days a week. Strangers called him at 3 a.m., and Adams spoke with them for hours.
And here's a June story from the New Yorker on what communities in West Virginia are doing to protect their neighbors from opioid addiction. The headline is "The Addicts Next Door," and the subhead is "West Virginia has the highest overdose death rate in the country. Locals are fighting to save their neighbors—and their towns—from destruction."

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