Baileyville Offers Hope

By Amy Jeanroy

 

Started in January of 2017, Baileyville is offering something a little different to people suffering from addiction. 

Any person who enters the Baileyville Police Department and requests help for their addiction will be screened for eligibility and assigned a Project HOPE volunteer, aptly referred to as an “Angel.” 

This Angel will then walk the addict through the process toward detox and recovery, including accelerated placement in rehabilitation and treatment programs whenever possible. 

Everyone is ready. 

There is training and education for everyone involved in the Project HOPE process. The police officers receive special training on addiction-related issues. Officers also provide a Project HOPE flyer to individuals or family members when responding to calls in which addiction or heroin-opiate misuse is known or suspected. 

Angels provide support and comfort to participants and work with partnering treatment facilities to place addicts in one of the dozens of programs around the United States. Angels are trained on the nature of addiction and the needs of someone going into 

Anyone who enters the BPD and requests help under Project HOPE is allowed to voluntarily turn in heroin, opioids, needles and drug paraphernalia without fear of arrest or charges. 

This program works. 

Project HOPE does have a track record of success. The program in Scarborough has helped 296 people so far. 

Originally Started in Glouster, MA by the then Chief of Police John Rosenthal, this program acknowledges the need for immediate and critical help for addicts who have made the decision to ask for assistance. 

Known now as PAARI (Police assisted addiction and recovering initiative.) 

In November, Chief Bob Fitzsimmons heard of Project HOPE when it was being offered in Ellsworth. The police in Ellsworth offered the program on Tuesdays, and the Chief would like to offer it all the time. 

“When an addicts says that enough is enough, that's when you strike. We have to be available and ready to do that any day of the week.” Says Fitzsimmons.

Project HOPE is for anyone suffering from addiction and wanting to get help. There is one thing that it isn't. It's not an excuse, to break the law. Fitzsimmons recalls a story of someone trying to use the program to try to get out of accountability for doing something wrong. 

“Here is what I want people to know.” Says Fitzsimmons. “This is no get-out-of-jail-free card. There was an incident recently where someone was in trouble with the law and tried to use Project HOPE as an excuse. This is not a free pass.” 

There is a significant cost involved in getting an addict into and through recovery. Baileyville has applied for seed money to help get started. 

Funds used for Project HOPE are used for transportation and treatment costs. Bringing an addict to Bangor and flying them to the available detox and then treatment facility is expensive. Some treatment facilities have grants to help offset the cost per person, but not all do. It's a many faceted issue, and every dollar donated is used to facilitate the recovery process. 

To donate to Project HOPE, send a check payable to 

Project HOPE

c/o Chief Bob Fitzsimmons

Baileyville Police Department

PO Box 370

Baileyville, ME 04694

“This isn't just for Baileyville residents. I don't care where you come from, if I can help you, I'll do it,” says the Chief.