The Ocean County Prosecutor's Office "Blue HART" (Heroin Addiction Recovery Treatment) program that's already in Brick, Manchester, Lacey, Ocean Gate, Point Pleasant Borough and Stafford expands its addiction recovery help into Little Egg Harbor.

Since the January 9, 2017 inception this first of its kind law enforcement addiction help program in New Jersey, which originally went by the name HARP (Heroin Addiction Response Program), has allowed substance abusers to turn themselves and their product in at any of the participating police headquarters in order to go to addiction services providers for treatment evaluation without any threat of charges or jail

Lacey, Ocean Gate and Stafford Police are aligned with Ocean Mental Health, Brick Police with Preferred Behavioral Health in Lakewood and Manchester Police with Integrity House in Toms River while Little Egg Harbor Township Police will collaborate with Ocean Mental Health in Manahawkin and Bayville.

The program will be available at Ocean Gate and Lacey Police Departments on Monday, Little Egg Harbor, Point Pleasant Borough and Stafford on Tuesday, Manchester on Wednesday or Brick on Thursday for those seeking immediate critical help in fighting drug addiction, according to the OCPO.

“I applaud the participating police department’s proactive efforts and eagerness to help those in their communities fight this tragic epidemic," Joe Coronato, Ocean County Prosecutor, said. "Since January, “Blue HART” has helped over 300 individuals to successfully fight the curse of addiction. I cannot thank enough Behavioral Health, Integrity House and Ocean Mental Health for their generous commitment to the people of Ocean County in making our vision a reality. Our county leads the state in providing lifesaving options to those fighting and seeking addiction help.”

The OCPO's Blue HART offers diversion help to help reduce the impact of heroin and opiate abuse in the community.

"The premise of the program is simple – any person who voluntarily enters the three participating agencies and requests help with addiction to heroin or opiates, or any substance, shall be immediately screened for potential participation in the program," OCPO spokesman Al Della Fave said. "Though the program is primarily designed to apply to persons who present themselves at the station, an officer who encounters a person outside the police station believing they would benefit from Blue HART has the discretion, based upon their training and experience, to the bring an individual to the police station if the person consents to the voluntary screening process."

After the Blue HART screening is done, the officer/shift supervisor will then provide transportation for the participant to the designated provider as soon as possible.

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