St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office Addiction Resource Program sees success as it approaches one year in existence

The St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office Addiction Resource Program formed in June 2017 by Sheriff James Pohlmann in an effort to provide assistance to the rising number of individuals fighting addiction has seen success in its first year, but the Sheriff says there’s still plenty of work to do.

“The program is designed to help residents struggling with an addiction, whether it be substance abuse, or even gambling related, find the resources they need to better cope with their situation,” Sheriff Pohlmann said. “We are pleased with the number of individuals we have been able to reach out to in the last 12 months, but the need to get help to those who are struggling is still so great.”

Spearheaded by Stanley Simeon, the program provides individuals and/or their families with information on resources available to them, such as rehabilitation programs, detox centers, therapeutic plans of action and faith-based assistance.

Simeon, who has an extensive background in helping people with all sorts of addictions, works closely with Capt. Charles Borchers, director of the Community Relations Division, and Chaplain Aaron Johnson to facilitate the program.

With the program nearing one year in existence, Sheriff Pohlmann is pleased to report they’ve been able to reach out to more than 300 individuals who have sought help for their addiction.

Over the past year, Sheriff Pohlmann said, Simeon, has been able to place more than 50 people into some sort of rehabilitation program.

“Several individuals who were longtime users are now coming up on one year of being drug-free thanks to the resources we have been able to connect them with through this program,” the Sheriff said.

Drugs are directly related to crime in many ways, the Sheriff said.

“If you want to get rid of the crime problem, you have to start with the drug problem,” Sheriff Pohlmann said. “We spend a lot of money on incarceration, on people who have drug problems that commit crimes to support their drug problems and they’re sitting in jail. They don’t need to be in jail, they need to be in treatment.”

If you or someone you may know could benefit from this program and would like more information, call Simeon at (504) 517-2944 or (504) 278-7659. Participation in the program is kept confidential.