I'm a police officer. How can I better help you?

I can't address everything right now, respect to your job, but I just came home to use the internet for a few and have to go...do some things. I'm a former Correctional Officer of 5 years who's made a few, obviously bad choices after leaving that career for unrelated issues, so I can understand your view on things more than the typical user you'd encounter.

One thing I can say, and only one Officer in the local department does things this way, but if your dealing with something that's not directly related to drugs, even if you see we have track marks or you know us to be someone who uses, please keep the drugs out of it and keep it business as usual. I realize it's part of your job to be curious, and I don't mind you asking me about my drug use just for conversation sake and your personal curiosity, but try to leave it at that., but if you're dealing with a shoplifter that you know uses, please leave the drug use out of it and address the crime you're there for. I know this may sound strange, but often enough were already getting shit for using from other people in our life. I don't shoplift, but I was just trying to use your example.

I guess what I'm trying to say, is that we're human and have feelings, families, etc, just like you, and being chastised and talked down to because we chose to use drugs would make anyone feel horrible inside...being talked down to hurts my feelings just as much as it might hurt yours. We don't like being made to feel small and hated any more than you. Try to treat us with the same respect you would when you just pull someone over for going just over the speed limit or any other minor infraction....I mean, as long as it's not something huge, or crazy going on....the golden rule is a good one to live by....try to remember it's just a job...I/we realize what you're doing is a job, you're job, and personally, I can't speak for everyone, but I respect the hell out of Law Enforcement/Correctional Officers. It's not an easy job. You're hated/feared, and over all, let's be honest here, aren't really all that popular, but you guys don't get near the respect you fellas deserve for what you do on a daily basis.

TL;DR - You've already kinda touched base on this, but the best thing you can do when dealing with us (just a typical user) Is treat us with the same respect we treat you, live by the golden rule, ask questions about our use if you're personally curious, but don't chastise, belittle, and go out of your way to treat us like we're less than human and try to make us feel like were 6 inches tall. Out of everything, just try to remember that we're human beings, and we having feelings just like you do...I mean, this probably doesn't apply to everyone, but a typical user like myself is generally pretty harmless...I like to think I'm a good person with a huge heart...I love to help other people, and aside from using drugs I'm more or less a model citizen...I've just made a couple bad choices and "wrong turns" in my life.

I'll be around later/tomorrow if you want to talk to me more about it personally. Feel free to ask me anything you want in here, or PM me and I'll do my best to answer to the best of my ability/knowledge.

/r/opiates Thread