Earlier this week the Westfield Police Department hosted a training in Cooperation with Hampshire Hope to form a Drug Addiction & Recovery Team (DART). The opioid epidemic that has plagued communities nationwide has forced law enforcement to expand the way this problem is dealt with. Although enforcement is still an avenue available to police officers, substance abuse is not a problem that is going to be solved by arresting our way out of it. Identification of the underlying problem, formulating a plan to combat the problem, and having the means to carry out the plan are imperative to slowing the issue of substance abuse. The Westfield Police Department is committed to using all the available resources to come up with long term solutions to substance abuse.
The Drug Addiction and Recovery Team (DART) is a free service that supports people who are at risk for an opioid overdose or family members affected by overdose. DART is made up of specially trained recovery coaches, harm reduction specialists, and police officers who provide access to harm reduction tools such as NARCAN and safety plans for use, connections to community resources, and short or long-term recovery support.
On Tuesday, members of the Westfield Police Department received training from health professionals from Tapestry Health, Mercy Medical Center, DART Coordinators, the Northampton Recovery Center, the District Attorney’s Office, and the Hampden County Addiction Task Force. As a result of this training Westfield will now have access to health and recovery resources who will be able to respond to overdose incidents within 48 hours and offer resources to substances users, family members, or friends who need help. Officers can also make referrals for those people who would like to be connected to resources for any kind of substance issues.
For more information on DART please visit the link below, or visit any of the links to see what resources are available to you and the Westfield Police Department.
CORE of Greater Westfield
Hampden County Addition Task Force
Northampton Recovery Center