Fire Dept Captain Busted for Drugs

A report from WJAR TV (NBC affiliate) says that a Johnston fire captain has been charged with a felony after prescription drugs were found in his vehicle. The drug in question was Suboxone, and Captain Richard Turchetti now faces the consequences.

Turchettti was stopped for driving a motor vehicle that wasn’t properly registered, and his Jeep had been spotted by police earlier, parked in an area where drugs are known to be sold. The pills were found in the vehicle, along with suspected drug paraphernalia recovered from a “duty bag” – the equipment firefighters carry with them to the job.

Suboxone is a drug used to treat heroin addiction. It works by replacing the stronger heroin with a less toxic narcotic. Heroin addicts can use it to help kick the habit or as a supplement when heroin is unavailable. Suboxone is a narcotic all by itself and can be used to get high. It is a tightly controlled prescription drug.

The fire captain posted bond and remains out on sick leave, pending further investigation or prosecution.

It would be a shame if Captain Turchetti turns out to be guilty of drug using, but not as surprising as might be expected. Heroin users, so long as they are able to get their drug and don’t overdo their dose, can become very stable – even managing to hold down a job. The difference between heroin and other addictions is the length of time typical users stay with the drug before either a crisis or they manage to quit. Some addicts can go for decades. Over time, a steady dose of heroin is reached, and the addict can behave more or less normally, so long as they don’t run out.

Turchetti has not yet had a chance to tell his side of the story, so it’s premature to say he’s an addict or even a user. This will have to wait until the matter gets to court.

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