'Safe Passages' fights opioid addiction through treatment, not arrests

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LINCOLN, Ill. (WAND) - The Lincoln Police Department is battling the opioid epidemic through a new program that's designed to help those dealing with opioid addictions get the treatment they need.

Under the "Safe Passages" program, those who are battling opioid addictions can come to the Lincoln Police Department for help.  Officers will take any opioid drugs the person has on them for proper disposal, and instead of making an arrest, the department will help find a place for treatment.

Healthy Communities Partnership Manager Angela Stoltzenburg says, "Unfortunately, it's very common, and unfortunately, it's often times people that we know and love and don't expect that they're dealing with the problem, so it's very prevalent across the country, and Logan County's no different."

Lincoln Police Chief Paul Adams says, "I think we've made a good dent in opioids, but there's still users out there.  There's still people that need help.  We've talked to people at traffic stops, etc., and one of the things we ask is 'Have you tried to get help for this?'  And a lot of them say 'Yeah, but we don't have the money' or 'We don't have the transportation.'"

For more information about the Safe Passages program, click here.

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