In Ocean County, drug users can walk into police HQ for help, not charges

TOMS RIVER — Drug customers in Ocean County, which has one of many highest charges of overdose deaths in New Jersey, can now flip in medicine to police and get assist — not narcotics costs.

Billed as the primary of its type within the state, the “Heroin Habit Response Program (HARP),” launched on Monday and is consistent with Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato’s perception that authorities aren’t going to “arrest their approach out” of the heroin epidemic.

“Regulation enforcement itself just isn’t going to show the tide,” Coronato stated in an interview with NJ Advance Media in October 2016.

The HARP program begins at police headquarters however ends with addicts in a remedy facility, not in a courtroom.

Nonetheless in its infancy, Brick and Manchester police departments are the one two departments within the county that drug addicts can stroll in, with medicine in hand, and make plans to go to an habit service supplier for a remedy analysis.

However an addict in any city within the county can stroll into considered one of these places and get assist, stated Ocean County Prosecutor’s Workplace spokesman Al Della Fave. Addicts can go to the Manchester Police Division on Wednesday and the Brick Police Division on Thursday.

Nonetheless, if an addict wakes up on a Monday and decides they need assist, Della Fave stated authorities would make preparations for help.

“They will work one thing out,” he stated. “No one goes to get turned away.”

The amenities collaborating within the initiative are Most popular Behavioral Well being in Lakewood and Integrity Home in Toms River. However there are instances the place addicts may be despatched to remedy amenities in Florida, Della Fave stated.

“We’ll pay for some incidentals, like journey and transportation,” he stated. “As soon as we get them there, the large expense might be dealt with by the well being suppliers.”

The HARP program additionally provides officers on the road the discretion to refer an addict they arrest for an analysis in the event that they consent.

If a cop arrests somebody for shoplifting in Toms River, for instance, and consider the individual’s dependency on medicine led them to commit the offense, the officer can ship that individual to one of many collaborating departments for an analysis.  

Manchester police Chief Lisa Parker stated the HARP program will present remedy for addicts in search of assist no matter his or her insurance coverage or capability to pay for it.

“The intervention element that HARP supplies is a street much less traveled by regulation enforcement, however at this level, we should make use of all of our assets to fight this…

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