Scottsdale police to roll out Arizona Angel Initiative to combat opioid abuse

(Independent Newsmedia/Arianna Grainey)

The Scottsdale Police Department, in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family, announced the first Scottsdale Angel Volunteers are ready to help those wishing to participate in the Scottsdale Angel Initiative.

This is the final step in the partnership launched in November 2017 to bring the Arizona Angel Initiative to Scottsdale, according to a press release.

The nation is experiencing increases in the distribution and use of opiates such as opioid prescription drugs, heroin and fentanyl, a release states. The Arizona Angel Initiative is an effort of the GOYFF to address this ongoing opioid epidemic.

The Scottsdale Police Department is partnering with the GOYFF to support this effort in our community. Adults wishing to participate in the Scottsdale Arizona Angel Initiative can contact any Scottsdale Police Department officer or walk into any of our four district stations during business hours and declare their desire to participate in the Angel Initiative.

Participants will have to present a valid form of identification. Any drugs and/or drug paraphernalia they possess can be turned in to the officer without fear of arrest (pending all criteria below being met).

Department representatives will then facilitate the pairing of the participant with a program angel. The angel, a program volunteer committed to helping those suffering from addiction, will provide an evaluation and work to secure appropriate services.

An angel’s role includes ensuring a handoff from the precinct to a detox/treatment center; connecting participants to appropriate resources; facilitating transition to resources to give participants a good chance at recovery; and arranging childcare for parents going through recovery.

Those who want to be a part of the Angel Initiative must be an adult over 18; have a valid city, state or federal picture identification; lived in Scottsdale; and not be a fugitive or have prior or pending charges involving violence, arson, sex, children or the elderly.

Other requirements include not having criminal conviction for posession with intent to transport or sell, drug violation in a school zone or three or more drug related arrests.

Those who become angels must be willing and able to follow staff directions and physically and mentally be able to self-manage personal hygiene and self-care within a non-medical, non-psychiatric facility.

Angels with physical or mental disorders must be considered “stable” and take medications as prescribed by their physician. If detox is required, persons must be willing to go to detox and obtain medical clearance.

“Drug addiction, and specifically opioid and heroin addiction, can devastate and destroy individuals, families and whole communities,” Scottsdale District Commander Rich Slavin said in a prepared statement.

“The city of Scottsdale, and the men and women of the Scottsdale Police Department work hard every day to combat this by identifying and bringing to justice drug trafficking organizations and those individuals responsible for the distribution and sale of these illicit drugs that are harming our community. Our efforts cannot and do not stop there. The Angel Initiative is another step in our efforts to combat this issue.”

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