KITTERY, Maine — The joint police chief of the Eliot and Kittery police departments wants those struggling with opiate addictions to know they can seek treatment resources at his, York’s and hopefully soon, other area police stations without the fear of being arrested.
The program is called Seacoast HOPE (Heroin-Opiate Prevention Effort), and is spearheaded by Police Chief Theodore Short.
It’s a program modeled after the Scarborough, Maine Police Department’s Operation HOPE, which launched in October. Since then, the program has helped place 100 Mainers into rehabilitation programs in eight states, according to a press release from the police department. Two-thirds of those who received treatment did not have the health care coverage or monetary resources to obtain treatment on their own, the release states.
“If you come to us and turn yourself in, you’re not going to get into trouble,” Short said “If you come with drugs and needles, if you turn yourself into us, we’re not going to charge you.”