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Recovery Awareness Month: UPD Angel Program connects those with addiction with resources

For decades, police officers have been on the front line of the war on drugs. But incarcerating a person, and breaking up a drug chains, are only a fraction of the work officers do when it comes to drugs, especially in the world we live in with an opiate epidemic.

Posted: Sep. 5, 2018 9:57 AM

For decades, police officers have been on the front line of the war on drugs. But incarcerating a person, and breaking up a drug chains, are only a fraction of the work officers do when it comes to drugs, especially in the world we live in with an opiate epidemic.

Utica Police Department's Angel Program allows individuals with a drug addiction to walk into the police station at any time, even with drugs with them, to ask for assistance. The drugs get disposed of without question, and the specialized officers get to work connecting the person with the resources they need if that person is accepted into the UPD Angel Program. What this entails, is a professional substance abuse intake process, and help ensuring treatment. 

The program mimics a program in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Police there in 2015 developed a revolutionary new way to fight the war on drugs by doing something about the demand, not just the supply. The Angel Program aims to get drug addicts who seek help into a recovery program rather than in a situation where they face arrest and incarceration. 

Anyone interested in the program can call the police department at 315.223.3461. 

Other resources include: 

SAMHSA's National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

The 24-hour suicide prevention line: 1-800-273-8255

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