Please, first watch the above-video. If it does not load, use the links below the post.
Drug addicts and drug users have never thought to walk up to a cop or sheriff and hand over their stash and ask for help. It sounds absurd, ludicrous, one would have to be…well, you get the point.
Yet, there is a change at how police and the Sheriff departments are looking at the plague of addiction on a national level.
“There has been a growing movement for many years in policing to recognize drug addiction as a health problem rather than a criminal problem,” said Jim Bueermann, president of the Police Foundation.† (The Police Foundation’s mission is to advance policing through innovation and science. It is the oldest nationally-known, non-profit, non-partisan, and non-membership-driven organization dedicated to improving America’s most noble profession – policing) ~ policefoundation.org/
Helping people into treatment, Mr.Bueermann says, becomes a means of “crime prevention.” Most importantly, it’s offering drug addicts a way out. In some cases, this could be the final opportunity to get treatment for their addiction.
“We can’t sit around and wait for them to overdose,” Arlington Massachusetts Police Chief Frederick Ryan
The prevention model mentioned that Charlotte Behavioral Health Care and Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell have modeled the “open door policy“… Has its grassroots in the The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.)
P.A.A.R.I. mission is to support local police departments working with Opioid addicts…offering help to overcome addiction, rather than arresting addicts who need treatment. The CDC reports in 2014: 47,055 people died from drug overdoses.‡
P.A.A.R.I has already made a difference:
- 350 program participants in under 6 months
- 40 police departments in nine states running similar programs
- 54 Working with treatment and Rehab centers in 19 states
- 88 and counting law enforcement in the process of creating similar programs
Charlotte County Open Door Drug Program
Sheriff Bill Prummell announced a new Drug Recovery Initiative Program on Tuesday. In partnering with Charlotte County Behavioral Health Center, this program will focus on a fresh approach to the problems of drug addiction in our community. This will allow for contemporary options of prevention, intervention and treatment. Sheriff Prummell is shown below with Vickie D’Agostino, COO and Jay Glynn, CEO of Charlotte Behavioral Health Care.
PUNTA GORDA, Fla.- The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office is working on implementing an open door policy for drug users, where addicts can turn over any drugs in exchange for help and not be charged criminally.
“I just see people using officers as a resource, somebody that they can contact and speak to if they have an issue like this and they want to get into treatment,” said Victoria D’Agostino, with Charlotte Behavioral Health Care, a recovery center working hand in hand with the sheriff’s office.
The sheriff’s office is modeling the program after one in Massachusetts, where more than 300 addicts received the help they needed.
“I don’t think that historically folks with addiction issues have looked to officers as a resource for them, but I think that’ll be a mind shift,” said D’Agostino.
Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell says he hopes the program will have positive results in the county.
“We really don’t know exactly what we’re getting in for, but we anticipate that folks will be using this program,” said D’Agostino.
Charlotte Behavioral Health Care says the county jail is overcrowded with addicts, and the new initiative could help keep drug users out of jail and get them on the path to treatment.
“I think it’s a great approach to this issue,” said Diane Ramsayer with Drug Free Charlotte County. “We need a full range of opportunities and services that will help anybody that is being impacted by substance abuse. So even if it just touches the life of one person, it’s worth it to us.”
Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office is cleaning up your streets by helping addicts instead of punishing them…. https://t.co/3LJlFznLBJ
— Kristin Sanchez (@Kristin_TV) January 20, 2016
Chato Stewart says: There are some fantastic Facebook comments in the above tweet link, such as this quote:
“Punishment doesn’t cure addiction. Time and companion shows someone actually cares!”
You have to read them. The pro’s and con’s and feel free to add your voice to the conversation below.
The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office is reaching out to addicts in order to help them instead of punish them. Find out… https://t.co/txjfnVF5O7
— Kristin Sanchez (@Kristin_TV) January 21, 2016
Republished with written permission.
Originally published: January 20, 2016 : http://www.winknews.com/2016/01/20/sheriffs-office-to-open-doors-to-drug-addicts/ VIDEO LINK
Reporter: Kristin Sanchez WINK-TV & WXCW-TV
†Jim Bueermann – Board Member: 2012-Present – http://www.policefoundation.org/team_detail/jim-bueermann/
‡ CDC : http://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/