Pennsylvania

Montgomery County Police Officers Help People with Substance Use Disorders Get Treatment | News

Norist Town — Montgomery County police, prosecutors, and drug therapists work with the Pennsylvania Attorney General to treat people suffering from substance use disorders from addiction as they continue to fight the tragedy of the opioid epidemic. We have started a program to support you.

“This program helps people fighting substance abuse disorders and uses police officers, one of the best community resources, to tackle the addiction aspect. Today is about prevention. Today is lifesaving. It’s about protecting the future. Today is about making a difference in people’s lives, “said county district attorney Kevin R. Steele, attended by more than 24 state and local law enforcement officers on Thursday. He said at a press conference when authorities announced the Law Enforcement Treatment Initiative (LETI).

The LETI program allows county residents suffering from substance use disorders to seek treatment for their addiction in two ways. Residents can appear at the local police station for help. Alternatively, you may be informed about the program and called by a police officer as a detour from arrest or prosecution.

County residents are eligible for this program if they are arrested for simple possession of controlled substances or drug equipment, or for minor crimes such as theft, criminal mischief, trespassing, or chaotic acts often caused by drug addiction. I will.

Individuals facing more serious drug trafficking and violent crimes are not eligible for this program.

If someone appears in the police, or if the person facing the arrest is eligible, the police officer will, through a referral to Gaudenzia, an organization that provides treatment through a partnership with the Montgomery County Drug and Alcohol Service. Encourages people to get treatment right away.

After an intake interview by Gaudenzia staff, police will provide transportation to the treatment facility for those seeking treatment.

Authorities said the main purpose of the program was to reduce deaths, overdose and crime associated with substance use disorders. According to officials, the program seeks help from addicted people to police. By encouraging them, the relationship between police and the community can be strengthened and the stigma of substance use disorders can be reduced.

“In Montgomery County, 257 people died from overdose last year alone. We have seen too many families beaten by addiction and overdose of loved ones. Too many people are dead, “Steel said.

“This is another way to help people suffering from substance use disorders and help their families by getting the treatment they need. Immediate referrals to treatment can save lives and, in some cases, addicts. It will save you from your criminal history, “Steel added about the program.

The district attorney’s assistant character, McMenamin, who is the captain of the county’s treatment court, oversees the initiative in the county.

The Law Enforcement Treatment Initiative Program was developed in 2018 by the State Attorney General’s Office, and Montgomery County is the tenth county to launch this program. Berks County and Delaware County have previously launched similar programs.

“Without a coalition of dedicated and cooperating partners to deal with this crisis, we cannot take a step towards the opioid epidemic,” said Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania Attorney General. As we continue to fight the opioid epidemic in the state, enabling individuals to receive the treatment they need will save lives and make the community safer.

“We can’t stop how to get out of this crisis, and know this, drug addiction is a disease, not a crime,” Shapiro added.

Last year, 4,715 people across the state died from drug overdose, according to Shapiro. Overdose has killed 1,030 people in Montgomery County over the past five years, officials said.

This initiative focuses on accessibility.

“People who are suffering may not know where to consult or who to ask for help. People suffering from substance use disorders may be embarrassed and hide it from their families. Maybe they may not have access to the internet to find the facility, “said Shapiro.

According to Shapiro, the law enforcement agencies involved in this initiative have a very simple message: “Ask for help.”

J. Scott Bendig, Montgomery County Police Chief, who is also the President of the Montgomery County Police Chiefs Association, called the program a “game changer.”

“We’ve been working hard to overcome one public health crisis in the last 13 months, but the second fight has begun. We’re rampant here in Montgomery County. We continue to fight the epidemic of addiction, “Bendig said. “The LETI program is a game changer, stopping the tide of addiction, providing staff with highly needed resources, and getting those in need to receive treatment quickly, resulting in death, overdose, and crime associated with this epidemic. Provides resources to help reduce, and be as efficient as possible. The LETI program saves lives in Montgomery County. “

Stephen J. Forzato, a former county detective and now director of the Center for Poisoning Recovery Education (CARE) at St. Joseph’s University, and Tonya Lupinacci, a former county prosecutor, work together to train police officers on how to connect people to treatment. intend to do something.

Linda Moore-Singleton, administrator of the Montgomery County Drug and Alcohol Department, supported the initiative and cooperation between law enforcement agencies and drug and alcohol treatment providers. For qualified people, our hospital will subsidize the cost of treatment.

“We want to make sure that our goal is to provide more resources to the people of this community. Stakeholders, that is, all who live, work and communicate in this community. Individuals need to support this effort. Our community is everything, “said Moore-Singleton, adding that” anything is possible with the right support. ” It was.

Norristown lawyer and long-term recovery Robert H. Refevre praised the effort.

“Going for recovery was a life-changing event for me. The important thing is to listen to the message when the person is ready to hear it. I think this program is a great opportunity. They have the opportunity to talk to them, “said Lefebvre.

Montgomery County Police Officers Help People with Substance Use Disorders Get Treatment | News

Source link Montgomery County Police Officers Help People with Substance Use Disorders Get Treatment | News

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