MSP expands program to fight opioid use - WNEM TV 5

MSP expands program to fight opioid use

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Michigan State Police are expanding an initiative to stop opioid use before it becomes a criminal matter.

It allows people struggling with addiction to find help without fear of arrest.

“It was my chance to help the community,” said Debra Fortenberry, with the Angel program.

For some people struggling with addiction, getting off drugs would be a godsend. Fortenberry wants to be the angel that helps them do just that.

“People are people and they need help,” Fortenberry said. “When someone realizes that the drug is controlling them and they want help, they really have to want the help.”

She recently joined the fight against opioid abuse as a volunteer with the Angel program. The program was created by the Michigan State Police.

She has been trained to give support to those struggling with drug addiction. She also helps to match people with resources they need.

Fortenberry said all they need to do is ask.

“They also have to acknowledge they have a problem,” Fortenberry said. “But we do have this program available and it’s completely free and we will help in any kind of way.”

MSP Lt. David Kaiser said law enforcement knows it can’t arrest it’s way out of addiction.

He hopes this program will stop the growing trend of opioid dependency.

“Yeah they just have to show up and say that they would like to get treated for their addiction,” Kaiser said. “All of our sergeants have been trained and everybody knows that we have this program.”

All 30 of the Michigan State Police posts across the state are participates in the Angel program.

“You want a fresh start? You want to second chance instead of a future funeral? You can come to any of our police post in the state Monday through Friday from 9 p.m. to 4 p.m.,” Kaiser said.

Fortenberry said more people should judge less and contribute more.

“I think it’s a wonderful thing to help. More people that find out about it, hopefully that’s more people we can help,” Fortenberry said.

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