Operation HOPE (Heroin Opiate Prevention Effort) of Waterville, ME is slated to commence in January 2017. Waterville Police is partnering with PAARI (Police Assisted Addiction Recovery Initiative), Kennebec Valley Community Action Program, Maine General Health, Healthy Northern Kennebec and Discovery House / Acadia Healthcare to increase the accessibility of treatment. The hope is that it will increase the likelihood that people will seek out treatment.
This treatment-focused program will help those suffering from opioid addiction. It will allow citizens to walk into the police department to seek help with their addiction. And they can do so without fear of arrest if they are willing to enter treatment. Next, they will receive a screening for eligibility and may even be qualified for payment assistance.
Partnering with Discovery House
As one participating Operation HOPE treatment center, Discovery House will work with officials to provide services for affected individuals in the region of Central Maine. After 28 years in operation, this CARF Accredited treatment center is poised to provide the range of services needed to combat the opioid epidemic. They offer counseling, medication maintenance, clinical and medical evaluations, as well as aftercare planning.
According to the CDC, 78 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Moreover, in 2015 alone, 272 people died from drug overdoses in Maine. Ideally, early education or diversion programs would be enough to slow this growing problem. However, the reality is that the approach needs to be multifaceted with a strong focus on treatment and recovery.