The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has a new program that will refocus resources towards a health-centered approach to combat drug use. The new policy shift  is geared towards helping people with drug addiction issues get help and start over instead of putting them behind bars. 

Under the new program announced today, anyone seeking assistance from law enforcement in Hillsborough County will not be arrested or charged as long as they surrender any illegal substances and are seeking help.

According to a media release, a member of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office will also transport, or arrange transportation, for those voluntarily seeking treatment to the appropriate medical facility.

“We are never going to arrest our way out of the drug addiction problem,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “We know it is going to take prevention, education and treatment. This is part of helping our community become stronger.”

According to FBI stastistics, in 2017 alone drug law violations in the US raked in 1,632,921 arrests.

The Drug Policy Alliance has years of studies and data showing that a rational drug policy that puts science and public health before punishment and incarceration works. Decades of evidence has clearly demonstrated that decriminalization is a sensible path forward that would reap vast human and fiscal benefits, while protecting families and communities.

Any individual wishing to seek addiction treatment and drop off their controlled substance can do so at any of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office locations.