Cops, Clergy, and Counselors Visit Drug Addicts Under New Bedford Pilot Program
A pilot program in New Bedford has clergy, law enforcement, and counselors stepping into the homes of drug addicts.
The program, organized by DrugFreeNB, has been in operation since April, and has ministers, police officers, and drug counselors conducting home visits to people who have recently overdosed on drugs.
Reverend David Lima pulled back the curtain on the program on The Taylor Cormier Show, and says the visiting representatives offer the addicts resources in a non-confrontational manner. "Not in a punitive fashion. Not in any other fashion other than to say, 'Look, this happened. You ended up with a 9-1-1 call. These are the resources that exist.' We've been able to engage some families. It is something that we're looking to expand on," said Lima.
Preliminary data on the program suggests a 30% effectiveness rate, which is gauged by residents refusing or accepting the services that are offered.
Lima says the program is in it's pilot stage, and is a coordinated effort between the Greater New Bedford Interchurch Council, the New Bedford Police Department, and PAACA. The home visits offer a number of resources to those who are battling drug addiction.
More concrete data from the program's pilot phase will be available within the next week.