Detroit Area Police Officers Set Up a No Questions Asked Opioid Addiction Program
The statistics are painful. Over the past decade, the landscape of addiction has changed dramatically across the country. During 2012 there were over 259 million prescriptions written for painkillers, representing a 400% increase in prescription opioid use within 10 years.
Michigan police officers are taking small steps in order to help addicts in the state get help. Officials in Roseville have created a free addiction program called Hope Not Handcuffs that will soon be available in every police station in the greater Detroit area.
The idea is simple. Addicts can walk into any police station, hand over their drugs without fear of arrest, and police will have a “Rehab Angel” sit with them, give them advice, and secure them a room at a rehabilitation center.
It is an initiative sponsored by Families Against Narcotics and will be available to anyone, despite their insurance status. The goal is to provide quality care to everyone, and police are hoping that this program will provide an answer to those struggling with addiction who don’t know where to turn.
“If you walk in, we will get you help. You don’t have to pay for anything. If you have insurance, great; if you don’t, don’t worry about it. Come in; we’ll get you help,” says Roseville Police Chief James Berlin to Fox 2 Detroit.
The idea for this procedure came after Governor Rick Synder explained in his 2016 State of the State that heroin overdoses have more than doubled since 2009.
This is due in part to the high cost of prescription opioids while heroin can be acquired inexpensively.
Hope Not Handcuffs officially launched February 1.