New program hopes to help opioid addicts in Boone County


BOONE COUNTY (WREX) – Leaders in Belvidere and Boone County have created a program to help people addicted to opioids.

It is called SORT and has two positions.

One of these positions is within the Belvidere Police Department.

The position would involve an agent who will work as a community worker who will speak and check on people with drug addiction.

Belvidere Police Chief Shane Woody said officers interact with addicts when 911 is called and have a good idea of ​​what resources a person may need.

“Often times we have already gathered this information and we are able to know the potential customers who can be of benefit,” said Chief Woody.

“The whole nation is going through the epidemic, Illinois is going through an opioid epidemic, but what they found in Boone County is that our fatal overdose rate is higher than the Illinois average. Said Jessica Perillo, program manager for the Boone County Department of Health.

The other position is that of an addiction counselor who would be used in the Boone County Jail.

This person will work to help inmates create a healthy plan once they are released.

“There can sometimes be a lag when someone is released and someone goes into treatment because there is so much going on in between. But if we bring it to them in jail, we are able. to finish it all, to fill out the paperwork., get them registered, ”Perillo said.

Leaders say this program will lead to lower crime rates, less recidivism and, most importantly, fewer people who will remain dependent or die from opioid addiction.

The program is funded by a federal grant, which was approved by Belvidere city council on Monday evening.


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