Fall River Police are taking a new approach to combatting the city's heroin crisis.

The department began carrying narcan two months ago and officials say it has helped to reverse 36 overdoses.

Capt. Joseph Cabral tells ABC6 that treating heroin addicts only as criminals will do nothing to help slow the epidemic.

"We can't lock up the problem it's not a law enforcement issue, it's more of a public health issue. We need education, treatment, intervention, get these people help," said Cabral "they're good people, they just have a serious issue."

In addition they have begun the Stop, Check, Chat program where individuals who have suffered from an overdose get a visit from an officer as well as a behavioral councilor.

"We give them educational information, were going to tell them to seek assistance and encourage them to go get some treatment," said Cabral.

Laura Washington, of Stanley Street Treatment and Resources, says the program has been implemented in other cities and towns, including Taunton, and the results have been very positive.

"You would think that people wouldn't want you there but, it's welcomed," said Washington, "people don't know where to turn so when they see your local Police doing the essence of community policing and really going out there and providing resources they welcome you in."

The officer in charge of Taunton's program says he has visited more than 100 homes, has never once been turned away, and has never had to visit the same home twice.

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