New Crisis Intervention Team forms ahead of National Recovery Month

Posted at 5:54 PM, Sep 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-03 20:01:14-04

Admitting that you have a problem with alcohol or drug use isn't easy but there are local resources out there to help, including a newly formed team with the Ada County Sheriff's Office.

A statehouse steps rally Saturday helped kick off National Recovery Awareness Month.

In the U.S., we're now losing 129 people a day to accidental opiate overdoses. That's according to the NationalInstitute of Health that was reporting just six months ago 44 deaths a day.

Here locally, the Ada County Sheriff saw a need for a Crisis Intervention Team.

The CIT was formed at the end of June. They've teamed up with mental health providers to get people in crisis the help they need on the spot.

Sometimes, for example, deputies come across a situation where no criminal act is involved but distress is apparent. This could be someone who is considering ending their life or who is having a mental breakdown.

"We're happy to help, we're happy to respond but, maybe, rather than respond 5, 6, 7-8 times with the same person... let's take a little more time the first time we respond and help them so they can move on with their life," says Deputy Jason Woodcook, Ada County Sheriff's Office.

The P.E.E.R. Wellness Center has been in existence for two years now.

In July, their facility expanded to help meet the growing need of helping people recover from drug and alcohol abuse.

"Our community tends to kind of be fragmented when it comes to the services available," says Monica Forbes, the center's executive director. "The P.E.E.R. Wellness Center is a great way of pulling those resources together and make them user-friendly for someone who is looking for help."

Saturday's rally was meant to create awareness.

At the P.E.E.R. Wellness Center, they have a 92 percent success rate with help from those who have gone through it themselves.

"Stigma and shame are just as deadly as the disease of addiction," Forbes says.

A select group of deputies head Ada County's CIT.

As for the P.E.E.R. Wellness Center, 95 percent of the staff is made up of volunteers. They're funded through donations, grants and the Joint Millennium Fund, which stems from a state tobacco settlement.

The center is located at 963 S. Orchard St. in Boise. Their phone number is (208) 991-3681.