About two months after Boston police arrested dozens of people in “Operation Clean Sweep,” state lawmakers will consider legislation to address some of the issues that prompted the police action. The sweep occurred in an area of Boston’s South End where there are many services for addiction treatment and the homeless.
State Sen. Nick Collins, who represents Boston, said he’s bringing forward the bills because, for him, it’s partly personal. That’s not just because addiction is in his family, but also because “Methadone Mile” — a controversial term used to describe the area — has affected him.
“There are very few places in the city where I feel unsettled,” Collins said during a recent walk through the South End neighborhood. “I’ve been all through the city; I grew up here. But I had to come here and search for a loved one battling addiction. No one knew where my cousin was after she ran from treatment.”
Collins’ brother eventually found their cousin. They went to court to commit her to addiction treatment under the state law known as Section 35. The law allows a family member or law enforcement officer to petition a court to send someone to treatment against their will.
“I believe that if we had not done that she would not be with us today,” Collins said.