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New programs to prevent opioid abuse in Cape Coral

Posted at 7:41 AM, Sep 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-26 07:41:50-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. – The Cape Coral Police Department has announced two new programs aimed at helping those in the community who are struggling from opioid addiction.

The Heroin-Opioid Prevention Education (HOPE) program will change the way officers interact with people who are struggling and want help. It’s aimed at lowering opioid overdoses.

If you're struggling with opioid addiction or know somebody who is, but don't know where to turn, you can now turn to the Cape Coral Police Department. If you turn to officers to get better, CCPD says it’s eliminating that fear of being charged criminally for the possession of drugs or paraphernalia. Cape police will instead connect you with someone who can help. They'll even provide transportation to the appropriate treatment facilities.

CCPD believes partnering with local rehab facilities will improve the quality of life for those in need of help as well as reduce crimes and overdose deaths.

“I know that from arresting people, it’s just not solving the problem, it doesn’t reduce recidivism, it doesn’t get the help they need, so we had to combine resources by reaching out to places like Salus Care,” said Chief David Newlan.

Fox 4 discovered that there have been more than 100 opioid overdoses in Cape Coral in just the last couple years. With HOPE, Cape Police believe they can lower that number. It's important to note that this program is exclusively for individuals or loved ones of individuals who come to CCPD for help.

The department also recognizes that prevention is key when it comes to ending opioid addiction. That's why they've announced a second program, Help Educate Loving Parents (HELP), aimed at educating the community.

Through HELP, CCPD will partner with local experts to educate the community on the dangers of drug use. The program is also about giving loved ones the tools they need to spot addiction early.

Through a series of classes CCPD wants to make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to knowing the dangers of substance abuse and recognizing signs that someone you love is addicted and needs help.

HELP classes will be open to anyone in the community including parents, school employees and government agencies.