The Nelsonville Police Division is working with these battling drug habit to get help by means of rehab as a substitute of ending up in jail.
Nelsonville Police Division Chief Scott Fitch advised The Athens Messenger he has approved his officers to move these battling habit who need assist to rehab services so as to reduce any costs that will have for drug-related crimes.
For years, America, and particularly components of southeast Ohio, have been dwelling with the impacts of a persistent opioid habit epidemic. NPR reported earlier this month that drug overdoses in the USA reached report ranges in 2020, pushed by artificial opioids and the pandemic.
Fitch stated whereas his division can’t promise lessened costs, he stated his division will make it clear to the Athens County Prosecutor’s Workplace that they had voluntarily accomplished therapy for substance abuse, and that ACPO tends to look favorably on those that have gone that route.
“We didn’t promise them something — I’m certain that’s going to look very favorably and have a pending cost for possession or one thing like that,” Fitch stated.
Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn welcomed the brand new program and stated it was at all times successful to get individuals therapy for habit. Blackburn added his workplace employs a number of comparable drug therapy diversion packages and likewise presents cognitive behavioral remedy (CBT) remedies.
“We’re 100% in favor of serving to individuals not commit future crimes — crime habit is the main reason behind crime,” Blackburn stated. “Any time we will get individuals in therapy, that’s an excellent factor.”
Fitch stated his workplace has partnered with the Hopewell Well being Facilities drug therapy facility in Belpre, Ohio, to make sure anyone who desires to hunt assist can obtain it and have house accessible for them in a facility.
“Typically we take individuals (there) the exact same day,” Fitch stated. “NPD is there to assist them and we wish to provide each accessible useful resource at our disposal.”
Fitch stated NPD has additionally been using civilian volunteers to assist transport them to Washington County for therapy.
Fitch stated the advantage of getting individuals assist with habit is a profit to the individual and to the neighborhood. He stated lowering the variety of individuals abusing substances in Nelsonville can assist with homelessness and crime, and can assist individuals get again on their toes.
He stated if this system can assist anyone affected by habit, it’s a win for NPD and the one who bought assist.
“If we will get these self-proclaimed drug addicts again on their toes, what an incredible victory that’s,” Fitch stated. “I believe that provides them a bit of self esteem, and it makes me hopeful that they see that folks do take the time to assist them.”
He stated it was “very brave” for drug abusers to confess they’ve an issue and search therapy — and never an admission of weak spot. He stated generally stigma round habit can forestall individuals from in search of assist.
He additionally stated a worry of being in a brand new city generally is a deterrent for some drug abusers, who would possibly really feel prepared entry to medication Fitch stated that “is a scary enterprise” for them and he commends those that nonetheless go regardless.
He stated if anyone desires assist, there can be “no methods,” and the individual simply must deliver some private belongings to the station.
He stated, nonetheless, whereas therapy (particularly voluntary therapy) is most well-liked, if somebody is a hazard to themselves and to the neighborhood, they could want time in jail to get clear.
“We get a nasty identify — ‘we don’t care, we wish to lock individuals up and throw away the important thing’ — that’s not true, we wish them to get clear,” Fitch stated.
Fitch harassed the significance of getting drug abusers assist, and stated anyone, no matter whether or not they reside in Nelsonville, can come to NPD for assist.
“If anyone on the market has a drug habit and lives in Nelsonville, or the Nelsonville space — frankly I don’t care the place you reside and — are keen to get to rehab, give Nelsonville Police a name and we are going to make it easier to get a mattress,” Fitch stated. “There’s no methods, you want some private belongings, and we’ll get you there.”