The Michigan State Police are joining a nationwide effort to fight abuse of heroin and "opioid" drugs. The "Angel Program" lets addicts seek help from law enforcement agencies without fearing arrest or investigation.
State Police Sergeant Keith Disselkoen has been involved in getting the program started in Michigan. He's overseeing its expansion into the Wayland area. Disselkoen says the opioid drug epidemic affects everyone, in some way.
"The heroin and prescription drug abuse epidemic has been growing for some time. It affects every area of the community, there's not any community that isn't experiencing it in some way."
The Angel Program needs volunteers to help get those seeking help to places of treatment. Volunteers need a valid driver's license and reliable transportation, among other requirements. Disselkoen says it can be an intense experience for both people. He says people who can relate to others struggling with addiction are best equipped to handle the job.
"If someone's at rock bottom, and wants help, who better to support them through that process than someone who is living in recovery."
The Wayland MSP Post will hold an open house to talk about the Angel Program on Saturday, July 15, from noon to 4 p.m.