The opioid addiction rate across the United States is at a crisis level. The Drug Enforcement Administration reported that over 200 people die every day due to an opioid overdose. To fully understand the impact of this crisis, this means around 72,000 people die every year due to an addiction to opioids. The number of deaths of American citizens is staggering. There is not a community that has not felt the impact of this crisis. The addiction to opioids transcends race, age, religion, socioeconomic background and gender. The loss of one life to an opioid overdose is unacceptable.
Police Chief David Newlan is dedicated to the citizens of Cape Coral who are addicted to opioids and want help to end their addiction, but do not know where to get services. Chief Newlan is implementing the HOPE program. The mission of this program is to improve the efficiency of the policing efforts of the Cape Coral Police Department to help reduce the number of fatal and nonfatal overdoses due to opioids. This will be done by changing the way Officers interact with people who are requesting help with their addiction to opioids. In doing this, the Cape Coral Police Department hopes to improve the quality of life for the voluntary participants and their families, while also preventing future crimes and overdose deaths associated with opioid addiction.
Police Officers are not trained, nor qualified to act as treatment counselors; however, they can be vital in connecting people with the appropriate community health organizations that offer these services. This program is specifically and exclusively applied to those who come to the Cape Coral Police Department requesting assistance due to their opioid addiction or from people who seek medical assistance for someone who is overdosing (parent, guardian, etc).
A person seeking help with their addiction may not be considered for referral for the following conditions:
-The person has an active warrant. -The person is under 18 and does not have their parent’s consent
-The person presents any signs or symptoms of withdrawal or any other clear medical conditions that need immediate medical attention.
If you are interested in ending your opioid addiction or know someone who needs help, there is information about SalusCare and their services below.