Gloucester police say they're seeing a strong early response to their unique approach to fighting a drug epidemic.

Police Chief Leonard Campanello said Tuesday that 17 heroin addicts have so far taken up his department's offer to turn over their drugs — no questions asked — in return for entering treatment.

The department didn't see a single taker the first day the effort was launched on June 1. Since then, though, Campanello says his agency has seen one to two addicts a day visit the police station.

The early success has drawn interest from Boston and other communities, prompting Campanello to team up with a local businessman to establish a privately funded nonprofit group to support the department's program and help others replicate it.