LANSING, MI – The Michigan State Police (MSP) Angel Program, which is a pre-arrest diversion program for persons struggling with drug addiction, is now active and operational at all 30 MSP posts statewide. Those seeking treatment can go to any MSP post during business hours, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The Angel Program, which is modeled after a similar initiative developed in 2015 by the Gloucester, Massachusetts Police Department, allows someone with a drug addiction to walk into a state police post to seek help for their addiction, without the fear of arrest or investigation.
If accepted into the program, the individual is guided through a professional substance abuse assessment and intake process to ensure proper treatment placement. An “Angel” volunteer, who is a member of the local community, is present to support the individual during the process and to provide transportation to the identified treatment facility.
“The opioid epidemic is real and we all need to do our part to stop it,” stated Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. “More people in Michigan die from drug overdoses than car crashes, and the Angel Program is one way the Michigan State Police is helping to reduce drug demand and serve those struggling with this deadly addiction.”
The Angel Program first launched in October 2016 at the MSP Gaylord Post. Since then it has expanded across the state, most recently becoming operational in metro Detroit. To date, 37 people have been admitted to treatment through the program.
“The addiction epidemic is impacting every community in our state and having the Angel Program available across Michigan will help families struggling with addiction have more second chances and fewer funerals,” said Lt. Gov. Brian Calley. “Congratulations to the Michigan State Police and everyone involved in expanding this life-saving program for this national problem.”
The Angel Program is made possible thanks to a partnership with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ Prepaid Inpatient Health Plans, private donations and a grant from P.A.A.R.I. (the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative). P.A.A.R.I. is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support the Gloucester Police addiction initiatives, aid other police departments to implement similar programs, and foster a dialogue around the unique opportunity for police departments to take direct action against the disease of drug addiction in their communities.
If you are interested in learning more about the MSP Angel Program, would like to become an Angel volunteer or wish to make a donation to support the initiative, visit www.michigan.gov/AngelProgram.