BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — It’s a symbol of hope, strength, and safe harbor, and now, it’s the name of a program the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office hopes will save the lives of those battling an opioid addiction.
Sheriff John Ingram held a news conference Thursday to announce the start of the Anchor Initiative.
It’s a program, funded through donations, that will help people get treatment for their addiction.
Kathy Williams, a mother whose child’s addiction turned fatal, said she is thankful for the new program.
“If this system was in place last year my daughter would be alive,” Williams said.
“This will make our society and county a better place. We will save lives doing it, I’m confident of it,” Sheriff Ingram said. “No matter how many times we have to run a person through the program we’ll do it… no matter how many times to save a life.”
Sheriff Ingram says the numbers are spiking. This crisis is unlike anything we ever faced before, so our society as a whole has to take a different approach to drug addiction.
“When it comes to crack cocaine, things like that, you don’t see nearly the number of deaths as we have with the opioid crisis for the past few years now,” Ingram said.
Sheriff Ingram says when they respond to an overdose call and if the person says they want help, the sheriff’s office will help them get treatment. Or, it doesn’t even have to get to that point. If someone calls the sheriff’s office and says they’re ready to get help, they can also get into the program.
Ingram says this is a system that will break down barriers that stop people from getting treatment.
The program will use volunteers to help transport people to resources or facilities, and will help pay the initial fees associated with getting into a treatment programs.
Ingram says there’s a number of things that can be supported with donations to this program.
The sheriff says they also worked with both Brunswick Novant and Dosher to help break down the barrier of costs.
Ingram says no one will be forced into this program, it’s completely voluntary. Also, if someone is charged with a crime, they do not get a pass.
Above all, Ingram says this is a community effort to fight opioids and Williams is hopeful for the future of others affected by the opioid crisis.
“That’s my hope I’m hoping it spreads across the state and across the nation because it’s suffering everywhere,” Williams said.
They will have a link on their website for people who want to donate.