Michigan State Police Angel Program offers hope for those battling addiction

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Michigan State Police is on a mission to help those in need of overcoming a drug addiction. 

The Angel Program, now operational in metro Detroit, gets those in need treatment. All they have to do is walk into a post and say they need help.

"An arrest is not always the answer," said Lt. Mike Shaw, Michigan State Police. "You can come in Monday through Friday, 8 to 4 to any state police post and we'll get you all the help you need."

Officials say the program was launched in Gaylord last year and so far, nearly 40 people have been assisted.

But now that the program is up and running in Taylor and Oak Park, state police has a total of 30 programs across the state that are available to those in need.

"You get an angel that will come and facilitate you into treatment," Shaw said. "And do whatever we have to do to get you into that treatment. 

"If someone needs to go into inpatient care that night we'll get them that care. Some people won't need that and might need some outpatient stuff, we'll arrange that too."

State officials say more people in Michigan die from drug overdoses than car crashes.

Shaw believes what helps to make this program successful is that it concentrates on treatment and not fear of getting locked up.

"We do have to check some warrants, there are things we can't help somebody out of," Shaw said. "But we're not talking about some misdemeanor traffic things. Our main goal is to get you into that treatment program. We can also help you with that other part of it as well as you work your way through the system."

State police officials hope anyone who needs help overcoming a drug addiction will use the opportunity. They also hope a number of people will sign up to be a volunteer.

"We need those angels to come out there," Shaw said. " We will train you on what we want you to do."

If you would like information about the program or how to volunteer go to www.michigan.gov/AngelProgram

"We want to get this program out," Shaw said. "So people know we are a safe place for them to go."