The police assisted project is an effort to involve local law enforcement in the process of getting those addicted to drugs off the streets and into rehabilitation.
The underlying goal needs to be to get those addicted to alcohol and drugs on the road to recovery. With the police assisted project, anyone struggle with addiction who wants help can walk into a participating police station and ask for help with the threat of being arrested.
The police department will then contact us and a certified peer supporter will be sent out within 75 minutes. Similarly to our WHO project, this is considered a crisis management project, which means there are peer supporters available 24 hour a day, 7 days a week.
Currently, we are working with the Wellington Policed Department, the Lorain Police Department, and the Elyria police Department. We also provided feedback for organizations in Huron County to start a similar program modeled after ours with the Norwalk Police Department.
The below article is from the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas website, and it details the Lorain County Recovery Court Program. There have been several successful graduations for clients that have gone through the entire program and were able to move on as a productive member of society in long-term recovery.
We provide peer supporters for this program. Specifically, we have four dedicated peers, who each have a list of clients through the Recovery Court Program.
Our peers meet with their clients each week to provide ongoing support and help. This may include taking them to appointments or shopping, ensuring they are doing what they need to be doing; getting to meetings and getting their community service hours complete. Throughout all of their interactions, our peers provide emotional support and advise on their road to recovery.
Lorain County Recovery Court (Felony Drug Court)
The Lorain County Recovery Court began in the fall of 2015 after receiving certification from the Ohio Supreme Court to operate this special court. Judge John R. Miraldi was appointed to preside over the court. Initial participants were accepted into the program in September 2015. The program is geared toward the opiate addicted person whose behavior has resulted in felony criminal charges. The goal of the recovery court program is to address the offender’s addiction through a comprehensive assessment and the implementation of a specific treatment plan. Success is determined by a sobriety that breaks the cycle of criminal activity and restores the individual to the family and community as a peaceful and productive member
The recovery court utilizes experienced treatment providers in the community including drug addiction counselors, recovery coaches residential sober living homes, mental health providers and medication assisted treatment for the opiate addict.
Recovery (Drug) Court Works
For over two decades, Drug Courts have led the charge towards a more humane, cost effective justice system. Research demonstrates that Drug Courts provide a highly effective alternative to incarceration for individuals whose involvement in the criminal justice system is rooted in serious addiction to drugs. By keeping drug-addicted offenders out of jail and in treatment Drug Courts have been proven to reduce drug abuse and crime while saving money. The scientific community has put Drug Courts under a microscope and concluded that Drug Courts work. Better than jail or prison. Better than probation and treatment alone. Drug Courts significantly reduce drug use and crime and are more cost-effective than any other proven criminal justice strategy. (National Association of Drug Court Professionals)
Generally speaking, eligible felonies must be a lower level offense of either the 4th or 5th degree. The offense cannot be drug trafficking if the felony level is of the 4th degree or higher, nor can it be an offense of violence or a sexually oriented offense. Opiate addiction must be a substantial factor in committing the criminal offense.
There are two “tracks” for Recovery Court, Intervention Track and Non-Intervention Track. The main difference is that successful completion of the Intervention Track will result in the dismissal of your pending charges. This is not the case on the Non- Intervention Track.
After three years of trying to have this project for Lorain County, Mercy Regional Medical Center in Lorain, Mercy Allen in Oberlin, and Cleveland Clinic in Avon were brave enough to work with us on the Warm Hand Off Project, which started in 2017. This project gave us the opportunity to reach people struggling with addiction when they are in most need of help and compassion.
Under this project, when someone enters the emergency room presenting with either an overdose or a drug or alcohol-related issue, we are given the opportunity to send a certified peer supporter to the hospital to meet with the individual.
Our certified peer supporters utilize their personal experience with addiction and recovery to connect with the individual on a personal level and give them the opportunity to seek help. If the individual is open to being helped, the peer supporter with the support of our outreach office will start the process of finding an appropriate detox or treatment center for the individual.
The facility chosen is based on a wide range of factors including the primary drug being used, the individual’s insurance, and other mitigating factors that may be present such as mental or physical illness.
Our peers also work to remove all barriers that may prevent the individual from seeking treatment. This may include helping the individual get new identification if they do not have license or birth certificate, taking them to Job and Family Services to apply for Medicaid, or even taking them shopping so they have clothes and personal care items to take with them.
Our peers will also talk to significant others and family members to help encourage everyone supporting the individual’s decision to get help. Our peers will provide family members with information about our family support group that meets in our office.
Finally, once all the arrangements are made, our peer supporters drive the individual to detox and stay with them until they are admitted. Once they are in detox, the peer will start working on arranging a treatment center for them to go directly to from detox.
Our peers continue working with the individual ass long as they are committed to their recovery.
WHO is considered an emergency project because we may get calls at all hours of the day or night to meet with a new individual. This means our peers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are constantly on-call and ready to go.
We currently have four peers that work on our WHO project.