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Tag Archive | "opioid addiction"

Opioid addiction assistance program expands statewide

Angel Program Now Available at all 30 MSP Posts

The Michigan State Police (MSP) Angel Program, which is a pre-arrest diversion program for persons struggling with drug addiction, is now active and operational at all 30 MSP posts statewide. Those seeking treatment can go to any MSP post during business hours, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The Angel Program, which is modeled after a similar initiative developed in 2015 by the Gloucester, Massachusetts Police Department, allows someone with a drug addiction to walk into a state police post to seek help for their addiction, without the fear of arrest or investigation. If accepted into the program, the individual is guided through a professional substance abuse assessment and intake process to ensure proper treatment placement. An “Angel” volunteer, who is a member of the local community, is present to support the individual during the process and to provide transportation to the identified treatment facility.

“The opioid epidemic is real and we all need to do our part to stop it,” stated Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. “More people in Michigan die from drug overdoses than car crashes, and the Angel Program is one way the Michigan State Police is helping to reduce drug demand and serve those struggling with this deadly addiction.”

The Angel Program first launched in October 2016 at the MSP Gaylord Post. Since then it has expanded across the state, most recently becoming operational in metro Detroit. To date, 37 people have been admitted to treatment through the program.

“The addiction epidemic is impacting every community in our state and having the Angel Program available across Michigan will help families struggling with addiction have more second chances and fewer funerals,” said Lt. Gov. Brian Calley. “Congratulations to the Michigan State Police and everyone involved in expanding this life-saving program for this national problem.” 

The Angel Program is made possible thanks to a partnership with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ Prepaid Inpatient Health Plans, private donations and a grant from P.A.A.R.I. (the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative). P.A.A.R.I. is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support the Gloucester Police addiction initiatives, aid other police departments to implement similar programs, and foster a dialogue around the unique opportunity for police departments to take direct action against the disease of drug addiction in their communities. 

If you are interested in learning more about the MSP Angel Program, would like to become an Angel volunteer or wish to make a donation to support the initiative, visit www.michigan.gov/AngelProgram

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Bill Schuette: Treat, don’t punish, causes of opioid addiction


In 2015, we lost 963 Michigan residents to car accidents. And we lost 1,981 to overdoses.

Heroin is available in every town in Michigan and can be purchased for less than the price of a few snacks at the gas station.

I’ve sat down with the victims in this crisis. I’ve looked them in the eye and heard their stories. I’ve heard the pain in their voices and recognized their guilty and broken spirits. For many in the grips of this addiction, it’s not even about feeling good anymore, it’s about not feeling bad.

What will it take for us to provide help, and not punishment, for those struggling with addiction? Our children are dying and government isn’t paying enough attention to what really needs to be done.

We need an attack from all angles.

In April, the State of Michigan received $16 million from the Trump administration to combat opioid addiction. Eighty-percent of the funds will go toward treatment, and 20% will go toward preventative measures. I have also asked the Legislature to direct the nearly $1 million from a settlement with a pharmaceutical company I recently negotiated to proven high-quality education and awareness programs about opioid addiction.

These dollars need to go toward:

A multi-faceted public awareness campaign: We can’t stop addiction just through treatment, we need education programs in place from elementary school to high school and in our health care facilities to make sure that there is no question on how damaging opioids are to the human body and mind.

Resources for addicts and families: Michigan has a piecemeal approach that spans across various state departments and doesn’t give those struggling or their families a central place to turn for help and resources. This doesn’t work. The State of Michigan needs a resource for families on how to get help for addiction available 24-7 online and by phone with a toll-free 1-800 number.

Aggressive law enforcement efforts: I announced this week that my new Opioid Trafficking and Interdiction Unit, designed to catch those moving heroin and other opioid-based drugs across our state, is up and running. My team is working with local, state and federal law enforcement to go after both the heroin traffickers and the overprescribing doctors that are flooding our cities and towns with readily available, deadly drugs.

This isn’t about catching those with a single dose of heroin struggling in the grips of addiction, it’s about getting the high-dollar distributor that supplies hundreds of people with a quick and potentially deadly high.

Strong treatment plans: We need to combat opioid addiction with intensive inpatient and outpatient treatment programs that follow regimented and proven techniques to rid a person of addiction.

Sending addicts to jail without a program to help them overcome their addiction doesn’t end the cycle, it makes the pull that much stronger when they leave. Whether it’s the proven results of Narcotics Anonymous, or another recognized program, we need to refocus our efforts to reach those incarcerated to make sure they can re-enter our communities without their addiction and with a plan for the future.

We can’t arrest our way out of this problem. We need to take a hard, but compassionate look at what we are doing to prevent and treat addiction before it can hurt more of us.

Bill Schuette is attorney general of Michigan.

This column originally ran in the Detroit Free Press on June 1, 2017. Reprinted with permission. http://www.freep.com/story/opinion/contributors/2017/06/02/bill-schuette-treat-dont-punish-causes-opioid-addiction/363204001/

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