WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS) — A South Jersey community is making the road to recovery a little easier in the opioid crisis. It’s treatment with compassion as authorities are working to break the cycle of overdose, Narcan and arrest.
Sometimes a friendly “hello” is the tiny step people trapped in addiction need to begin the long road to recovery.
On Wednesday, teams of addiction recovery coaches and outreach specialists hit the streets of several Gloucester County towns to bring help to those who might not seek it out.
For the third time in six months, the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office brought together local addictions experts for a new outreach blitz they call “Operation Helping Hand.”
“If you wait and think they shall come, that’s not going to happen,” Gloucester County Prosecutor Charles Fiori said. “Most of the people you come to contact with that are addicts, they want help. They don’t want to continue to be addicts.”
Most of the groups that went out Wednesday drove to private residences where police have recently responded to overdoses. This sort of strategic approach is one way addictions experts and law enforcement can help each other.
“They’re embracing all of it and the collaboration that we’re getting working together on all these different operations, it’s a beautiful thing because we’re really able to help a lot of people,” City of Angels’ Michelle Perez said.
“A lot of times people are in denial, they don’t want to come out, they’re ashamed of having a problem. They don’t know what to do. So this is just a knock on the door and saying ‘hey,’ and maybe at that particular time all the stars are aligned and they’ll ask for help,” Fiori said.