Anne Arundel Police Serve Addicts With Letters of Encouragement

Police officers in Anne Arundel County are giving heroin addicts they arrest and overdose victims they come in contact with a letter encouraging them to seek treatment.

As reported in The Annapolis Patch:

Anne Arundel County Police Chief Timothy Altomare penned a letter early this year that officers give to drug addicts they arrest and overdose victim they deal with on the streets. Its message is simple: Drug treatment is always available to help.

“We have had to look too many mothers in the eye and tell them their child is gone,” Altomare wrote. …“It takes a lot of courage to seek help. … Drug treatment can work. People recover from addiction every day. WE BELIEVE YOU CAN DO IT BUT WE CAN’T DO IT FOR YOU.”

At the end of the letter is a resource: Addicts who are seeking help are urged to call the county’s WARMLINE at 410-768-5522. It is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

As of Aug. 31, Anne Arundel County has seen 566 overdoses; double the 249 total for 2015. Of this year’s overdoses, 79 cases have been fatal and 487 have not, police said.

“Our police department is willing to do whatever it takes to beat this heroin epidemic. We are continuing to keep an open mind and think outside the box,” police spokesman Lt. Ryan Frashure told Patch. “We have seen that we cannot arrest our way out of this problem, so we need to be creative. The traditional avenues are not working, so we need to combine enforcing the law with follow-up treatment.”

For more information read the full article in The Annapolis Patch