As with most everywhere, Wicomico County, MD is increasingly affected by the heroin and opioid epidemic. In 2015, there were a total of 100 overdoses reported at Peninsula Regional Medical Center, and there have been 103 overdoses in just the first three months of 2016. County leaders, including Sheriff Mike Lewis, are taking steps to combat this growing drug problem.
The Wicomico County council recently approved funding for the Community Outreach Addiction Team (COAT) program, which allows peer support individuals (in addiction recovery themselves) to go out on overdose calls with local law enforcement. This will allow them to make a connection with the addict, one that those in twelve step fellowships know to be vitally important. The peer support individual will have undergone addiction treatment and will have a stable program of recovery, and the hope is that this will give the addict a relatable connection and contact in recovery, so they know change is possible and who they can call for direction and support.
An Admirable Step Forward
This program has an excellent basis in the idea that the best person to help an addict is someone who has been there before. Most of us were immensely relieved, when we got to treatment or began attending meetings, to find that there were others just like us who have done similar things, experienced similar shame and guilt, and yet have turned their lives around. It provides hope, and shows considerable insight by the Wicomico County leaders as to the nature of addiction.
Hope is Available
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol, call the treatment professionals at Serenity Acres today for a free, confidential assessment- 1-800-203-2024.