Tired Of Being ‘Dope Sick,’ A Drug User Gets Help From Police To Get Sober

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NPR on 05/26/2019 by Anna Boiko-Weyrauch

Two key ingredients came together for Shannon McCarty to get off drugs in late 2017: connections and timing.

“The police showed up because they said they got a call that we were shooting up in the car,” Shannon said.

Everett police officer, Inci Yarkut walked up to window of the car where Shannon was living.

“I explained who I was and what my role in the police department was,” Yarkut said, and she gave Shannon a business card. “[I] said, ‘Hey, if there’s something that we can do for you — because I think there are things that we can do for you, that we can help you — give me a call.”

That connection would prove vital for Shannon to get off heroin and meth. And the timing was right for her as well.

Across the country police agencies are re-evaluating how they handle people with addiction. Everett, Wash., is one place where, instead of just arresting people, officers help those with addiction get the services they need. As Shannon’s story shows, sometimes a personal touch can make all the difference.

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