News & Politics

Ohio Cops Lure Addicts to Treatment by Offering to Test Meth for Zika Virus

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A clever marketing campaign by an Ohio police department to help direct drug addicts to seek treatment has garnered a lot more attention than planned.

WARNING: If you have recently purchased Meth in Preble, Montgomery, Darke or Butler Counties it may be contaminated…

Posted by Gratis Police Department on Monday, May 28, 2018

Newsweek reports that a Facebook post by the Gratis, Ohio, Police Department was intended “to persuade residents to turn in their methamphetamine and seek treatment.” The hook: they were offering to test the methamphetamine for Zika. Free of charge! They even offered an option for those meth addicts too skittish to head to a police station, saying that they would do it in the “privacy” of the user’s home.

Nobody wants to contract Zika, right?

It turns out that the meth users aren’t in danger of getting it from their drugs, which the Gratis police were kind enough to point out at the end of the post saying, “Disclaimer: methamphetamine can’t be a host for the zika (sic) virus.”

One Facebook user asked the Gratis Police to post if anyone took them up on the offer, saying, “mugshots will do…LOL.”

Gratis Assistant Police Chief Dennis Blankenship insists, however, that baiting people into getting busted isn’t the department’s intention. Blankenship says he doesn’t want “to throw someone in jail over this.” Rather, the Gratis P.D. would like “to use it to start those in need to seek treatment.”

The interesting ploy by the small police department has gotten big attention so far. As of the time of this writing, the Facebook post has been shared over 6700 times and has almost 1000 comments.