Thursday, March 4, 2021

Inkster police offer new drug intervention help

The Inkster Police Station is offering a drug intervention program
in an effort to avoid the serious increase in deaths from addiction.
Inkster police can now offer help rather than handcuffs to those suffering from drug addiction and related issues in the community.

The department has entered into a partnership with Growth Works to combat opioid and other drug addiction utilizing an approach of rescue, recovery and peer support. Growth Works, based in Plymouth, is a non-profit organization serving youth and families in western Wayne County since 1971. 

If an individual comes to the Inkster Police Department and asks an officer for assistance and is willing to detox and follow through with treatment, the officer will contact Growth Works and begin to triage the individual to determine the need for help, explained Inkster Police Lt. Jeffrey Twardzik.

Peer coaches, who are employees of Growth Works and also have long-term recovery experience, will then be sent to Inkster to help the individual seeking help. The program uses screening, arranging medical detoxification and assisting in facilitating rehabilitation or treatment.

“If there are any outstanding warrants for the individual seeking assistance, the department will notify the courts to possibly get the bond modified and any court dates re-assigned. Any contraband discovered will not be used against the individual, however it will be confiscated,” explained Twardzik.  “If EMS is needed immediately, they will be dispatched and the peer coach will be directed to contact them once medical care has been completed,” he said. 

The program will assist individuals with opioid abuse or other drug addiction who walk into the Inkster Police Department lobby seeking help. It will also assist individuals identified with an opioid addiction who have committed low-level crime in Inkster. This program will also be available for anyone who has been arrested for narcotic violations and is being released from custody.

The Inkster program will work through St. Mary Hospital in Livonia. and is an effort to decrease the risk of continued substance abuse and overdoses, decrease hospital admission rates, increase the sense that treatment is individual and be supportive of the client's needs. 

This program offers help that is non-judgmental and promotes a sense of camaraderie and increases self-esteem and confidence, Twardzik said in a prepared statement.  

“These coaches maintain contact with the individual they are helping for up to one year after encountering them.” 

This intervention program utilizes “peer support” which has proven to decrease the risk of continued substance abuse and overdose, Twardzik explained. “From 2013-2015, drug related deaths have increased by 30 percent.”

This program is a combined effort of law enforcement, social service and health care to prevent the fatalities associated with drug use. The certified peer recovery coaches are trained and have personal experience with recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. 

“These coaches use their experiences and training to empower others to make healthier choices and stay actively engaged with individuals after an encounter and connect them to treatment and recovery support services,” Twardzik said.  “The Inkster Police Department is proud to be able to offer this service to members of our community as well as our neighboring communities at no cost.”  

The Inkster police station is located at 26279 Michigan Ave. For more information, call (734) 456-6088.