Batesville Police Chief Stan Holt told Coalition for a Drug-Free Batesville members it’s time to act instead of just attending monthly meetings to strategize.
He pointed out, “A lot of times law enforcement is the first contact with families” of addicts. He suggested Sept. 14 forming a Batesville Drug and Alcohol Response Team (BDART) comprised of different community sectors – police, law, faith, hospital, mental health and a parent of a former addict. When a family member or the individual calls for help with substance abuse issues, a person with certain expertise could offer treatment options and more advice.
The chief noted, “It’s great to have Web site information, but we need human contact ... I’ll get a call at home at 10 or 11 o’clock at night – it would be nice to have a cellphone contact,” so a BDART volunteer could say, “‘Here is who you need to talk to.’”
Often the police are not called about problems because “the parents are afraid the kid’s going to get arrested ... the majority of the time, thatís not the case.”
Forming a response team “would impact a lot of families ... and (we would) see results.”
Tom Horninger, Brookville, said, “There’s an element we haven’t talked about here, a constituency not represented ... a recovered userî to reason with an addict. “I know there are a lot of therapists out there who are recovered, clean, who have the ability to bring – a different perspective.”
Would the team help heroin addicts only? was a question posed by the meeting’s leader, Tommy Koopman, Coalition for a Drug-Free Greater Cincinnati local coalition development manager. Holt said the group could serve persons with alcohol and drug issues.
The chief suggested, “We stay with them throughout that fight, trying to help that family.”