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Danielle Romanik pulls into the Starbucks parking lot in a white Mercedes to talk about her 13-year addiction to opiates, mostly heroin.

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When Gloucester began its new approach to fighting opioid abuse June 1, police Chief Leonard Campanello couldn’t predict whether “1 or 100” people might take the department up on its promise to forsake drug possession arrests and instead offer drug users entry into treatment programs.

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An ocean of praise has washed over Gloucester since the unveiling of its innovative “angel” program, which treats opioid abusers as addicts in need of help instead of criminals who deserve to be in a jail cell.

BEVERLY — When it comes to the heroin epidemic, nobody disputes the notion that there is an overwhelming demand for treatment. But if the demand is so great, why haven’t treatment centers been popping up like convenience stores?

Read more about this year's high school graduates on the North Shore in our special Salute to Seniors section.

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