CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Tuesday that Clearfield County has joined the Law Enforcement Treatment Initiative (LETI). The program was first launched by Attorney General Shapiro in collaboration with law enforcement to provide assistance to Pennsylvanians suffering from substance use disorders in enrolling in a treatment program.
Clearfield county is the 12th county in the state to join the program aimed to help break the cycle of addiction.
The LETI program contains three ways to get involved. The first way is by self-referral, where somebody that may be battling addiction can seek law enforcement help. A second route is by law enforcement referral. This is where an officer with knowledge of addict, whether it is through a criminal case or not, can refer them to the program. The third track into LETI is by a magisterial court. This option is the one Clearfield County’s District Attorney Ryan Sayers said he believes will be the most used route. In this instance, an individual facing charges will be put on hold while they are in the program.
Shapiro said partnering Clearfield County law enforcement agencies under PA LETI will:
• Open their station doors to those suffering from substance use
• Help identify treatment for those who seek it.
• Assist with ensuring that people have transportation to the facilities.
• Maintain relationships with local treatment providers to understand
availability, and collect data to study outcomes.
“This is by no means a free pass,” Sayers said. “Because to qualify for this program, the individuals must want help, and they will be closely monitored by the service providers on their progress.”
The program’s ultimate goal is to reduce the number of deaths from drug overdoses. Last year, 5,172 Pennsylvanians died from drug overdoses.
“In Clearfield county alone we’ve lost over 20 people in the last five years,” Shapiro said. “We know that across this commonwealth, 14 Pennsylvanians die every single day from a drug overdose.”
This announcement comes one week after the Office of Attorney General announced an agreement with three of the largest opioid distributors and its largest manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson, which would bring up to $1 billion to the commonwealth. The money that will come to Pennsylvania will help offer and expand life-saving treatment options to communities across our Commonwealth.
“That is for people who are suffering from the disease of addiction. That is for people who desperately need help in our communities,” Shapiro said.
Once an individual completes the program, which will be run by the Clearfield Jefferson Drug & Alcohol commission is complete, all criminal charges will be dropped. Shapiro said the Drug & Alcohol Commission and local law enforcement agencies will keep monthly updates on individuals’ progress to make sure they continue to move on the right path.
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