Police In Western Massachusetts Keep Knocking On Drug Users’ Doors Until They’re Ready For Help

Emily Ligawiec at a recovery center in Holyoke, Massachusetts, where she’s been living. (Karen Brown/NEPR)

Emily Ligawiec, 29, has to sign visitors in to her recovery program in a grand Victorian house run by the Gandara Center in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

She’s been living there since getting out of a detox program last fall. She had to give up her phone for two weeks and only recently got car privileges.

“We get 24, 48, 72 hour passes every weekend,” she said.

Ligawiec doesn’t mind the restrictions. She’s grateful she’s alive to follow them, after a decade of serious addiction.

“I had gone down a pretty dark path,” she said.

Ligawiec traces her turnaround to a 911 call last year.

High on heroin, she’d stolen her mother’s car in Ware, Massachusetts. When she returned it a few hours later, Officer John Cacela was waiting in the driveway.

In the past, Cacela might have immediately read Ligawiec her rights.

Read the rest of this story at NEPM’s website.