MORRISTOWN, N.J. (CBSnewYork) — Morris County is shifting strategies in the battle against the opioid crisis.
The county’s new sheriff took drug forfeiture money to convert a van, called Hope One, into a mobile drug intervention unit aimed at connecting drug users with treatment services.
“We can no longer just house people arrest them for use of opioids, we need to concentrate on the root cause of it and provide them services so that they can beat their addiction,” Morris County Sheriff James Gannon said.
Plain clothes officers, social workers and former addicts drive around the county stopping at known drug locations.
“We bring with us coffee, we bring doughnuts and we bring educational materials because it’s my belief and our belief that all recovery starts with a conversation,” Gannon said. “We’ve placed people in detox already, we’ve placed people in rehab already.”
In June, a new 50-bed wing will open at the county jail for inmates ready to take that first step toward recovery.
The sheriff said the jail might eventually become a licensed treatment facility.