Angel Program allows addicts to seek help from State Police

Tactics to combat illegal drug use, abuse, sales, and addiction is constantly evolving and a mixture of failures and successes. Limiting the availability of illegal narcotics is a struggle and uphill battle.

When there is some success at limiting the availability of a particular drug, it seems as though another one rises up, becomes popular, and takes the place of the last. Whether it’s a pharmaceutical, imported or garage chemist drug, newer and extremely dangerous drugs are appearing on a consistent basis.

It’s not only law enforcement that sees the destruction caused by illicit drug use. Many other agencies, health care, communities, and families are affected.

Individuals who at one point made a poor choice, and in many cases continued poor choices, end up in a cycle of addiction that they can’t escape on their own.

We try to educate people, young and adult, on the dangers of drug use. We try to limit availability, impose punishments, manipulate the supply and demand, and various other things. What we cannot do is create a completely sterile environment.

In most cases, a person’s decision to experiment or dabble in using illegal drugs is their choice. Continued use often leads to addiction. For some with a predisposition for addiction, a first-time use can begin a dependency that they have very little control over.

It generally begins with the choice or decision to use. How can we keep people from making a destructive choice? If you have the answer, please let us know.

The Michigan State Police is taking a shot at this problem from another angle by implementing an initiative called the Angel Program. This is a statewide program that will be rolled out to every post in 2017.

Recognizing the struggle of addiction some people are dealing with, the MSP has adopted this program to assist those who can’t get clean on their own. We will be there to help those who make an honest choice or decision to do it.

The Angel Program allows an individual struggling with drug addiction to walk into a MSP post and simply ask for assistance. Though there are some restrictions, the main criterion is for the individual to recognize their problem and make an honest decision to get help for it.

The individual will be guided through a professional substance abuse assessment and intake process to ensure proper treatment placement. An Angel volunteer, who is a member of the community, will be present to support and assist the person during the process.

We will put out further information regarding this program in the near future and hope to have it up and running sometime this spring. We will also be seeking Angel volunteers from the community who wish to assist in this effort. Training will be provided to these volunteers through the MSP locally.

Matt Djerf is the community service trooper for the Michigan State Police-Calumet Post.