Source: RLS Media
Last week, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, Elizabeth Police Department, and Prevention Links hosted a pop-up Operation Helping Hand 24/7/365 (OHH 24/7/365) event on Third Street in downtown Elizabeth. The event aimed to connect area residents struggling with substance use disorder with recovery resources.
The event coincided with the announcement made that four Elizabeth residents were placed under federal arrest for their roles in conspiracies to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and fentanyl. The next day, the OHH 24/7/365 popped up in the very area that was previously being used to conduct open-air narcotics transactions during the long-term investigation.
“On Thursday, those who profited from their struggles were arrested,” Prosecutor Ruotolo said. “And on Friday morning, when would-be buyers returned to this neighborhood to purchase narcotics, they were instead met by members of law enforcement and recovery specialists working together to provide them with a new option and bring recovery resources to those who need it most. We must meet people where they are.”
Twenty-five county residents engaged with recovery specialists from Prevention Links regarding the services provided through OHH 24/7/365. The Union County Prosecutor’s Office, Elizabeth Police Department, and Prevention Links intend to maintain a presence in the neighborhood.
Any time an individual is arrested in Union County for a low-level opioid offense, they are immediately offered access to free recovery services. The program also operates a 24/7 hotline, 1-855-825-3275, which residents can call at any time to begin their recovery journey.
Union was the first New Jersey county to expand the program to a 24/7/365 model thanks to the generous support of the Governor’s Office, the Department of Law and Public Safety, and the Union County Board of Commissioners. This initiative, and others geared toward addressing the opioid epidemic, have been bolstered by grant funding obtained from state and county governments.
For more information on Union County’s Operation Helping Hand 24/7/365, or to learn more about beginning your recovery journey, please visit the Union County Prosecutors Office Web site.