“Every dose of buprenorphine consumed is at least a dose of heroin not getting consumed, if not several.”

2 Jul 2018

Burlington, Vermont, police chief Brandon Del Pozo—a former deputy inspector and nearly 20-year veteran of the statistics-driven NYPD—has a new vision for policing during an opioid crisis. His primary metric for success is reducing overdose deaths—not increasing the amount of drugs seized or raising the volume of arrests. It’s a potentially transformative model that deserves to be replicated widely.

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To put saving lives first, Del Pozo has begun an innovative program aimed at getting proven anti-addiction medication into the hands of those who need it—regardless of whether or not they want to quit illegal drugs entirely. 

“The number-one job of a police department is to protect and rescue its community from harm,” Del Pozo tells me, “Right now, fatal opioid overdoses are the number-one harm to practically every community in America.”

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