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Two Ocean County police departments offering addiction help over jail

Two Ocean County police departments are offering help to drug addicts treatment rather than criminal charges.
No matter where the addict lives, he or she will be able to come to the Manchester Police Department any Wednesday or Brick’s department any Thursday to seek help, according to the initiative announced by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.
The pilot HARP — or Heroin Addiction Response Program — is in partnership with Preferred Behavioral Health in Lakewood and Integrity House in Toms River.
Anyone requesting help with addiction to any opiate, like heroin, or any substance will be screen for potential participation, said Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato.
While designed for those seeking help, an officer can offer the program to anyone they encounter at their discretion.
Once screening is complete, the officer or shift supervisor will provide transportation for the participant to the designated provider as soon as reasonably possible.
It is a substantial addition to support the county’s three-pronged approach in combating the opiate epidemic through education/prevention, enforcement and treatment, Coronato said.
“It’s the generous commitment of Behavioral Health and Integrity House, along with the Brick and Manchester police departments’ pro-active community outreach that makes this all possible,” the prosecutor said. “It is the hope of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office to elicit other local law enforcement/health provider partnerships in the next several months to expand the program across Ocean County.”

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