WEST ORANGE, N.J. (June 9, 2016) — The West Orange Town Council will vote June 14 on whether to approve Operation HOPE (Heroin – Opiate Prevention Effort), a program the West Orange Police Department hopes to roll out this fall that places heroin and opiate users into drug treatment instead of jail.
The program is an affiliation between the West Orange Police Department and Integrity House. Those who voluntarily appear would receive assistance through the police department in partnership with Integrity House.
Through the program, anyone who contacts the police department and requests help for a substance use disorder can turn in heroin, opiates, needles or other paraphernalia without fear of arrest. Participants in the treatment program are then paired with an Operation HOPE volunteer “Angel” who helps guide the person through the process of recovery, including placement into Integrity House’s rehabilitation program.
“Data on overdose deaths in past years points to a growing number of victims in smaller, suburban municipalities,” Police Chief James P. Abbott said. “We hope to mirror the success Operation Hope has had not only in Gloucester, MA but the many other locations it has been adopted since.”
In the past decade, the number of overdose deaths has quadrupled in the U.S. Operation HOPE volunteers serve as a lifeline to those in recovery and those looking to enter recovery.
According to treatment experts, New Jersey’s heroin and opiate problem has touched a wide- spectrum of the state’s citizens. More than 28,000 sought treatment in New Jersey for heroin or opioid abuse in 2015.