Not a day goes by without some sort of news—local, state and/or national—that touches on some aspect of the opioid epidemic. A glance at the headlines proves that no community is immune from the ravages of the highly addictive opioid drugs.
According to Michigan State Police, more people are dying from drug overdoses than car crashes. In an effort to stem that tide, MSP has initiated the 'Angel Program' at each of its 30 posts statewide.
The program was modeled after a similar initiative developed by the Gloucester, Massachusetts Police Department in 2015. Anyone seeking help with a drug addiction can walk into a state police post and seek help for their addiction without the fear of arrest or investigation.
According to the MSP, those accepted are guided through a professional substance abuse assessment and intake process to ensure proper treatment placement. From there, the individual is paired with an 'Angel' volunteer. The 'Angels' are members of the local community, many of whom have gone through the program. They offer support and guidance throughout the process, and provide transportation to the identified treatment facility.
MSP partnered with the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (PAARI) to assist individuals who wish to seek treatment for dependency and addiction to heroin and prescription opioids. The nationally renowned Angel Program is aimed at bringing law enforcement, community
volunteers and individuals seeking assistance together in an effort to reduce dependency with heroin and prescription opioids in Michigan.
This program can make the difference between a life in chains—whether they're the chains of the addiction cycle or those imposed by law enforcement for violating drug laws—or a life free of the constraints of both.
The opioid epidemic has ruined and/or shortened many lives. Now, the Angel Program offers the light of hope in the dark tunnel that is drug addiction.
It's a new year, and an opportunity for a fresh start. If you know someone who could benefit from the help of an 'Angel,' guide them to an MSP post today. Individuals are welcome to learn more about the program during regular business hours at any post, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday, without fear of arrest or investigation. Visit www.michigan.gov/msp for more information.