CARE Initiative

Posted on 07/26/2018

To provide more than emergency help in situations of a drug overdose, the Village of Arlington Heights’ Police, Fire and Health & Human Services Departments partnered with Linden Oaks Behavioral Health at Northwest Community Hospital, Live4Lali, the Addiction Policy Forum, and Omni Youth Services to work together in offering opioid recovery assistance for residents of Arlington Heights.

This new community partnership announced on Thursday, July 26, is known as the Community Addiction and Recovery Effort (C.A.R.E.). CARE focuses on the long-term health of the individual battling an opioid use disorder and/or addiction. The program will enable our first responders to directly connect people battling addictions with area experts who have the resources to help them fight their disease.

With the CARE program, members of the Police Department have embraced a philosophy that emphasizes dealing with the disease of addiction rather than the crime of addiction. CARE offers individuals multiple pathways to treatment and recovery and it’s a program that meets an individual’s need where the need is at. “CARE is able to reach an individual during a small window of opportunity,” according to Chelsea Laliberte Barnes of Live4Lali, a local support and resource center. “There are not many opportunities to offer help to someone when this is a disease that is telling the individual they don’t have a disease.” Live4Lali is a CARE partner.

All of the agencies that are a part of CARE will work together in providing the specific support an Arlington Heights resident may need. Even if an individual is not able to pay for treatment, there are programs available that can help them with treatment costs.

In 2017 the Arlington Heights Police Department responded to 28  service calls relating to an overdose and the Fire Department responded to 45 service calls. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), on average 174 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Currently, Arlington Heights first responders all have a nasal spray that can administer Naloxone, an opiate aggressor that can stop an overdose and save a life. With CARE, Arlington Heights Police and Fire have an additional resource to offer addicted individuals that can help with an opioid recovery.

CARE GroupTraditional approaches to combating this epidemic, such as continuously arresting individuals that have shown signs of opioid addiction, have proven to be ineffective in the long run. This community-based approach to battling the opioid overdose epidemic is a cost-neutral program. Instead of waiting for individuals with a problem to seek help, the Village is hoping to be a conduit and connect an individual in need with a strong network of community recovery options.

Everyone’s path to recovery differs. Through our communal approach, we can offer resources that most closely fit each individual’s unique needs. Please click here for more important information.