How Middlesex County is helps addicts’ loved ones connect with help
In Middlesex County, there's another example of law enforcement moving to help the addicted in their struggle to kick their habit.
The newly unveiled Blue Cares program is "law enforcement working in conjunction with our health partners," Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said.
Among them: The Woodbridge Township Health and Human Services Addiction Recovery program, the Wellspring Center for Prevention, and county health services.
"Quite often, officers arrive on a scene, they Narcan an individual — literally bring them back to life," Carey said. But we recognize that this is just the beginning of the stages of truly helping that person to regain their life. And in law enforcement, we want to do all we can to truly save a life in this instance."
The Blue Cares program aims to provide addicts' friends and family members with the connections and assistance to get them the help they need.
Police down to the street level are ready to promote Blue Cares to chronic drug offenders.
"When you have law enforcement pushing, your family members pushing, and friends pushing it, we think there's a greater chance of them seeking the treatment and getting the help they need," Chief of County Detectives Gerard McAleer said.
He's been involved with prevention for more than 10 years, having previously worked at the Drug Enforcement Administration.
"And in that position we spoke about the addiction problem becoming greater in New Jersey since 2006," McAleer said. "So now we are trying to do is to reach out to the families of those afflicted and try to help them. A lot of times they feel helpless because they see their family member going down that path of addiction."
Similar programs are up and running in other parts of the state, in cooperative efforts between law enforcement and treatment and counseling resources.
Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5
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