STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. – Sterling Heights police are trying a new approach in the war against the opioid epidemic, and it involves checking up on people after drug overdoses.
Police are teaming up with Families Against Narcotics to do “after overdose wellness checks.”
Linda Davis is s former judge and is now the CEO of FAN. Her group and the Sterling Heights Police Department are piloting the program designed to help drug addicts find a path to recovery.
It’ll start with an overdose, and then a quick response team will go back to check on the addict within 72 hours of that overdose.
Frankie Walker is one of the people on the team. She’s a peer recovery coach who was an addict but has been sober for five years. Officials said she’s the best person to walk into an addict’s life and offer guidance.
The second phase of the comeback program is deferred sentencing, which offers addicts a chance to stay out of jail if they make the effort. It starts before they get booked.
While the program is new in Michigan, it’s already established in West Virginia. Officials in West Virginia said they saw a nearly 70% drop in overdoses.
You can hear from the people involved in the program in the video above.