Video: Local Police Partner with CURE to Provide Recovery Support ServicesPosted:
MIDDLE TOWNSHIP, N.J. – As Cape May County continues to tackle the issue of alcohol and substance addiction, the Middle Township Police Department has partnered with a local program that connects drug and alcohol abusers with a new chance of recovery.
Christians United for Recovery, or CURE runs the program that is working throughout the county to help get addicts the treatment they need.
“The survival rate is virtually 'nil' if you’re going to continue using,” said Charles Harrah, associate pastor at Lighthouse Church.
Beginning at the Lighthouse Church, CURE meets with those struggling with addiction, and their families. In this past year alone, the "Advocating Substance Abuse Program" in the county has received 155 calls in regard to treatment for alcohol and heroin addiction. So to meet this growing problem they are on call 24/7 and have made visits to Cape Regional Hospital to shed a new light on detox.
“This county and this program [are] ranked number 1 in how many are actually sent into rehab situations. Now you can look at that as a negative, that there’s so many that are in overdose experiences, or you can look at it as a very positive thing… we are providing the help that they need, and that the rate of overdose deaths is on a rapid decline,” said Harrah.
The Middle Township Police Department will now offer CURE and ASAP services through their officers. If someone is arrested on drug-related charges, or if resident on the street tells an officer they want help - appropriate actions will be taken.
"It is a disease, and we need to start looking differently at it, if we’re going to have an impact,” said Middle Township Police Chief Christopher Leusner.
Protocol states that forms will be filled out, CURE or ASAP volunteers will respond to the station, and they will work with the person trying to get help. If they have already been arrested and begin working with CURE, the court will consider that when deciding on sentences.
“I think it’s a 'win-win' situation. I think we’re going to put people in touch with addiction services that they need. And when you look at our crime, especially our shoplifting and our thefts, a lot of that is driven by addiction,” said Leusner.
The aim of the partnership is to hopefully create a safer community with less crime and drugs on the street.
“We will not arrest our way out of this problem. I believe that. And it’s programs like this that I think are going to make a difference,” said Leusner.