HAZLET – The local Police Department has teamed up with Hazlet’s Hope Network to expand addiction services to those in need, Police Chief Ted Wittke announced this week.
Since heroin and opioid abuse continues to be an issue throughout Monmouth County communities, police will often arrest someone suffering from Substance Abuse Disorder but are unable to offer any substantial help to prevent future issues.
Because of this public health crisis, Hazlet’s Hope Network became the township’s number one resource in 2017 with a goal to assist those looking to get help with this disease. However, in spite of the organization deploying peer counselors to speak to those in custody, police are aware there are still individuals and families who may feel lost and hopeless when dealing with substance abuse.
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ASSIST (Addictive Substance Support and Intervention Service Team) is the department’s way of giving those individuals a chance to find support, get answers to questions, and ultimately find help in whatever situation they are facing.
Beginning Wednesday,. March 10, and continuing every Wednesday between 10 am and noon, a representative of Hazlet’s Hope will be situated in the Hazlet Municipal Courtroom for the purpose of providing a resource for those who are, and those who have loved ones, struggling with addiction. These representatives will be able to assist addicts getting admitted to treatment facilities and will also offer support to family members looking to help a loved one. The free service will be open to all without any exceptions.
“We encourage anyone to stop in and speak to a recovery specialist in a socially distant atmosphere,” Wittke said. He pointed out that his department has a strong working relationship with a local addiction service organization.
Hazlet’s Hope Network is a nonprofit organization developed in 2016 dedicated to uniting the skills and experience of recovery teams with Bayshore area patients seeking lifesaving changes from substance abuse through long term treatment. It is a peer-based organization that fights the stigmas and negative stereotypes associated with substance abuse.
Whenever a police officer makes an arrest of a subject who appears to have a substance abuse problem and that person meets the criteria, the officer offers to have the person communicate with one of Hazlet Hope’s representatives in police headquarters. “Because it is a peer approach to the problem, we find it lets subjects know there is help if they choose to accept it, “ Wittke continued. “With the subject in custody, they can discuss options and treatment.”