New addiction program in St. Bernard aims to save lives

A drug treatment program started by a local sheriff is hoping to help those with addiction get treatment instead of jail.

NEW ORLEANS – A new program in St. Bernard Parish aims to help those struggling with addiction stay out of jail and get help.

The parish sheriff’s office is starting an addiction resource program that looks at helping people get on the right path towards recovery.

"We spend a lot of money on incarceration, on people who have drug problems that commit crimes to support their drug problems and they're sitting in jail,” said St. Bernard Sheriff Jimmy Pohlmann. “They don't need to be in jail, they need to be in treatment."

No matter what the addiction is, the department will help get the person and their family to the right place, no questions asked.

"To let them know they're not alone when it comes to addiction, there are resources out there. It's not easy to connect to, so we'll connect them for you all you have to do is give us a call," said Pohlmann.

It’s a tough subject for Pohlmann, whose son died last September of a drug overdose. He wants to let the parish residents know his deputies are there to help anyone who needs it.

"I know how it impacts families and I know how it impacts communities so I'm in a unique position and I hope not too many people are in my position,” said Pohlmann. "We're looking to get you help we're not looking to get you in trouble."

Although the program is just starting, the department hopes that by changing the way addiction is handled, they can save lives.

For more info on the program, call (504) 517-2944.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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