DCSO launches program to divert drug users into recovery

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The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with Ideal Option, a national leader in outpatient medication-assisted treatment for addiction, to roll out a new program: Operation Guardian Angel.

The program is aimed at diverting more people who possess illicit substances for personal use into recovery.

In November 2020, Oregon voted in favor of Measure 110, the Drug Addiction Treatment & Recovery Act. While the full effect of Measure 110 has yet to be realized, the data so far is underwhelming.

A five-month study by the Oregon Department of Justice showed that out of 1,085 citations issued for drug possession since the Measure was enacted into law last February, only three assessment/screening verifications were received and 400 people failed to appear for their court date.

Operation Guardian Angel, modeled after successful programs in other states, is designed to empower those in the community who are struggling with the disease of addiction to come forward without fear of legal repercussions and begin their recovery with medication-assisted treatment.

The kick-off event will take place on Friday, Dec. 10, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Ideal Option clinic located at 404 NE Penn Ave. in Bend.

Individuals are invited to voluntarily surrender their illicit substances and paraphernalia for safe disposal and transfer immediately to Ideal Option to be enrolled in their evidence-based outpatient treatment program.

Most people will be able to see a provider that same day or make an appointment for the next business day.

For nearly all patients, costs are covered by Medicaid or private insurance.

All members of the community and representatives of the media are welcome to attend the event to learn more and pick up educational materials for themselves or loved ones.

After the kick-off event, individuals interested in the program are encouraged to contact the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office or contact Ideal Option directly to start treatment.

The Ideal Option clinic in Bend is open Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Ideal Option has helped nearly 50,000 people with medication-assisted treatment for addiction to fentanyl, methamphetamine, alcohol and other substances since 2012 and has 70 clinics nationwide, including locations in Bend, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis and Hillsboro.

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