The program seeks to provide outreach to individuals with substance abuse disorders and their families at the time they wish to seek treatment for their addiction. The core platform of the program is that those seeking assistance are treated with compassion and connected with the help they need in a supportive environment without fear of retribution or legal procedures.
The program will begin on Jan. 1.
Volunteer facilitators are needed to provide immediate assistance. These are typically individuals that live in the community and have connection to a faith-based organization. Once they receive special training, they are placed on a monthly roster and commit to being available for a 24-hour period during which they remain available to come immediately to the designated area to coordinate the support process.
As volunteer facilitators are critical to the program’s operational success, a town hall informational meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the Huron County Jobs and Family Services Conference Room. The program needs a team of about 30 local volunteers.
The purpose of the program is to work collaboratively joining many community resources to help reduce the number of people with substance abuse disorders by supporting a Voluntary Drug Intervention program in cooperation with safety services. This in turn helps to reduce crime associated with substance abuse and dependency. The greater good is served when individuals with substance abuse and dependency issues are connected in real time to services that allow them to begin the detoxification process and initiate intervention and recovery services with the end goal of returning to society as healthy, productive citizens.
The community-based initiative begins with a platform supported by community safety service groups such as law enforcement, and hospitals, behavioral health programs and governmental programs in providing safe harbor and immediate nonthreatening support to any individual voluntarily seeking assistance through programs designed for recovery from substance abuse and dependency issues. Two locations have been designated as safe, compassionate resources for individuals seeking assistance in connecting immediately with recovery resources: the Huron County Sheriff’s office and the Norwalk Police Department.
The designated location will provide a secure area to the individual for the purposes of protecting privacy, allowing for community-based volunteers and peer support teams to interact with the individual while also protecting privacy and building a sense of safety and security
A certified peer supporter is utilized to locate and make arrangements for treatment for the individual.
ALERT is an innovative collaborative program modeled after a similar program in Wellington called Local Initiative Networking Compassion (LINC) by the Wellington Police Department, Wellington Fire District and the South Lorain County Ambulance District in conjunction with local government, the Wellington School District, local churches and other volunteers.
For more information, contact the Huron County Mental Health and Addiction Services office at 419-668-9858. The crisis hotline is 1-800-826-1306.