LaPorte administration, police, fire departments expanding programs to aid heroin addicts
In the wake of a recent spike in overdoses, some deadly, the City of LaPorte and its emergency services are expanding a program to provide immediate assistance to heroin addicts.
A newly formed program named PAATH (Public Safety Assisted Access to Treatment and Health) expands the services of a program that was already in place.
“Under the new PAATH Program, people will be able to not only go to the police department, but also any of the three LaPorte Fire Department fire stations to ask for assistance,” a March 2, 2017, press release from Mayor Blair Milo and the police and fire departments stated. “When someone suffering from addiction comes into any of these locations or interacts with any member of the City of LaPorte fire or police departments and asks for assistance with their opioid or heroin addiction, they will immediately be paired with a trained community volunteer (known as an Angel) who will guide them through the steps of getting into treatment. The process involves receiving a medical evaluation followed by guided conversations from treatment professionals on options and overcoming barriers to access to the agreed best treatment path.
“As with the previous PAARI Program, users who come in seeking help will not face arrest. The focus of this program is to assist people in finding and continuing along a path to treatment that will work for them.”
The new program is being established after various community organizations collaborated to address the increasing problem of heroin addiction and overdoses.
“We hear more often than not that people do not know what services are offered or how to get help with their addiction,” LaPorte Police Chief Adam Klimczak said. “The PAATH program is in place to make sure that someone is available 24/7 to help someone in need find their way into treatment.”
To get help, addicts can come to any of the following locations 24 hours a day to get started on their road to recovery:
— LaPorte City Police Department, 1206 Michigan Ave.
— LaPorte Fire Station 1, 809 W. 18th St.
LaPorte Fire Station 2, 115 East Shore Ct.
LaPorte Fire Station 3, 105 Boyd Blvd.