Drug use is illegal whether you are using or selling chronic drugs like cocaine, heroin, marijuana, or other drugs. Criminalizing drug use has not cured the country of drug addiction, but frequently leads to relapses when those who were arrested are released from jail. While it may seem like calling the police on someone doing drugs is a good deed, it could be very dangerous.

Why Is It Dangerous to Call the Police on Someone Doing Drugs?

Police have used drugs as a way to justify killings. For example, Breonna Tyler was killed by the police after they entered her home under a no-knock warrant for a drug bust. Terence Crutcher and Laquan McDonald were killed by police who justified their deaths by saying there was PCP in their systems when they died. Also, if drug dealers discover that you turned them into the police, it can mean danger for you in your neighborhood.

What to Do Instead of Calling the Police

In most cases, you cannot do anything, regardless of if it is a neighbor you see smoking marijuana or a homeless person doing drugs. This is especially true if they are not harming anyone. The only time you should ever intervene is if that person is overdosing. It can be extremely helpful to be trained on how to administer naloxone to stop an overdose. This will allow you to do something about it without involving the police. If someone is in physical stress or experiencing a serious overdose, then you should call 911 to get medical help quickly.

More times than not, drug use and mental health are tied together…

If you or someone you love is in the circle of addiction and want assistance

The Best Way to Advocate for Better Policies on Drug Addiction and Misuse

The best way to start is by connecting with your local harm reduction organization. If there is no one in your area, this can be the perfect time to start one of your own. You can also advocate for services like free STI and HIV testing. By finding out what is going on in your own neighborhood, as well as the home life of your family and friends, you can better understand the challenges surrounding housing and healthcare that need improvement. You can obtain more information and resources from organizations such as the Harm Reduction Coalition, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Hotline, and more. If each person did something in their neighborhood for the fight against drug use, more lives could be saved.

It can be hard to escape drug use when it is prevalent in your neighborhood. Witnessing someone doing drugs and calling the police on them can end up being dangerous for the caller and/or the person using drugs. You could be in danger if drug dealers are aware that you reported their behavior or the person using drugs may lose their life unnecessarily. You can take action in your neighborhood by getting in touch with your local government about drug usage rising in your area. Rather than calling the police on someone who is using drugs, you can encourage them to go into treatment. If you or someone you care about needs help, Alta Loma’s transformative treatment center in Georgetown, Texas can provide you with the support and safety you have been looking for. Alta Loma can teach you how to get control back into your life through personalized treatment plans like 12-Step programs, individualized treatment for substance abuse issues, life skills education, and more. For more information, please call us today at (866) 457-3843.