MEDFORD, Ore. – Grants Pass Police Department is partnering with a local organization, to better serve locals battling drugs.
The agency recently partnered up with Adapt Integrated Healthcare, to help people in some of their worst moments.
GPPD and Adapt describe this partnership as an efficient way to connect individuals to substance abuse disorder services.
In 2022, Grants Pass police says it responded to 96 overdose calls.
This year, it’s already seen 137, with 14 suspected overdose deaths.
But with a new partnership, whenever an overdose-related 911 call comes in, Adapt’s specialists, called Recovery Mentors, will be notified as officers and medical personnel are dispatched.
Grants Pass Police Chief Warren Hensman said, “it’s so important to meet people in that moment of crisis, because we really want to encourage that person suffering from a substance use disorder into treatment.”
Chief Hensman says that once an overdose situation is safe, the recovery mentors from adapt will be able to meet with the individual to point them toward resources for help.
Grants Pass Adapt’s program director, Brandi Johnson says the mentors are meant to show the struggling individuals that they aren’t alone.
Johnson said, “they have lived experience, and they understand the barriers to getting into treatment and they understand the mindset of someone who’s maybe not ready yet but they’re going to try and help them along the way.”
Chief Hensman says that these individuals tend to respond better to trained specialists than police officers.
He said, “I think people that are at their lowest moment, that have just suffered from an overdose, that have been in possession of illegal substances, they do not want to in my opinion deal with a police officer, I think that this uniform can be somewhat of a barrier.”
Johnson says that this new partnership is different as well because if someone refuses the treatment options, they don’t forget the person.
She said “maybe in that moment, they’re not ready but our peers are going to follow up. They’re going to reach back out to them. They’re going to try and stay in contact and just let them know, ‘I’m still here. When you’re ready, I’m here.”
Adapt Integrated Healthcare says it’s their goal to meet people where they are and recognize that each person has unique needs.
For more information on the agencies work together, visit adaptoregon.org.
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