APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – Appleton Police say they’ve seen an increase in overdose deaths over the last two months. Now, they’re encouraging those battling with addiction to seek help from law enforcement, without fear of being arrested and prosecuted.
Authorities say Appleton Police have investigated nine overdose-related deaths since early April. This does not take into account the number of individuals officers have saved by responding to overdoses and admininstering Narcan.
In 2018, citizens identified drug abuse as the top community issue in a community survey. Appleton Police say they’ve responded to that concern and have worked to bring resources quickly to those in crisis is the community by creating the L.E.A.A.P. program, or Law Enforcement Addiction Assistance Program.
“We will continue to aggressively pursue those who distribute and sell drugs in our community, we also recognize that addiction is not a crime and the Appleton Police Department will address the needs of any person who comes into the station requesting help with their opiate addiction,” authorities said in the release.
“To those struggling with a heroin or opioid addiction, we are here; we can provide an opportunity for you to stop the feeling of your life spiraling out of control. For family members of those with heroin or opioid addictions, we know what you are struggling with. Hundreds of people in our community are suffering like you and don’t know what to do to help their loved ones,” they added.
For more on the L.E.A.A.P. program, visit the City of Appleton’s website.