City police will begin distributing “harm reduction kits,” including clean syringes and glass pipes, with hopes of keeping those battling drug addiction alive until they are able to commit to seek treatment. The "official" word is: "Officers often seize and discard needles and pipes, among other paraphernalia, when making an arrest. But, once people are released from custody, they rush to use, driven by addiction — and use unsafe or unfamiliar equipment."
So, giving them brand spankin' new needles is the answer? Reeks of an excuse to stop making arrests that take up precious paperwork-doing time.
Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, commissioner of the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, said New Haven would be the first department in the state to distribute such kits.
The kits, to be offered to those discharged from the New Haven police lockup, are also expected to include information about care options in the city, Brillo pads to use as filters for smoking crack cocaine, sterilizing pads, cotton, condoms and a tourniquet, among other items, officials said Thursday.
Each person receiving a kit will be tracked through a unique code, made of the first letter and third letter of their first name, the first letter of their last name, and their date of birth, to allow officials to track how many people seek care.
But, will they? Will they?