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A Way Out

"A Way Out” is a Lake County, Illinois Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion pilot program, designed to fast-track users to substance abuse programs and services. This program is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at participating police departments across Lake County and ensures no criminal charges will be sought for those that may be in possession of narcotics or paraphernalia, as long as assistance is sought out by the prospective program participant. Addiction is a disease. “A Way Out” treats it like one. We want to help people struggling with substance abuse, not arrest them.” - Chief Eric Guenther, Mundelein Police Department. “A Way Out” is a program developed by the Lake County Opioid Initiative to create additional treatment access points, reduce crime, reduce substance-related harms, re-frame the role law enforcement plays in community safety, and unite the community. For too long, substance use has been stigmatized and dealt with as a criminal issue. Substance use is a public health problem that needs to be addressed as such. Lake County Opioid Initiative is committed to developing innovative ways to create positive change in our community as it regards substance use and mental health. The program is set up so that participants will NOT be criminally charged. There is no need to fear arrest or prosecution for seeking participation in this program. You can find “A Way Out” in just a few easy steps: A. Locate a participating police department B. Walk in through the main doors C. Tell an officer that you are requesting help Important FAQ’s Who is not eligible to participate in “ A Way Out?” We do not discriminate against any individuals who want to participate in “A Way Out”. However, if you have a warrant out for your arrest or are currently being charged with a crime in Lake County, we cannot permit participation. The police department will look into your case and determine the appropriate course of action. How does/should substance use disorder treatment work? Please review the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Principles of Effective Treatment, for information on a recommended approach to the treatment process, and NIDA’s overview on Types of Treatment. We are committed to upholding evidence-based models of treatment through “A Way Out." Will anyone know about my participation in “ A Way Out”? No. This program maintains 100% confidentiality and waivers are signed to uphold this promise. Can my loved one(s) join me in the process? Yes. We provide waivers for you to sign indicating specific details of your loved one’s involvement in your treatment plan based entirely on your preference. If I become an “A Way Out” participant and relapse after completing treatment, will I be kicked out of the program? No. Relapse or lapses in sobriety can be part of the recovery process. We do not view them as failures, only indicators that more treatment may be required. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Relapse rates (i.e., how often symptoms recur) for people with addiction and other substance use disorders are similar to relapse rates for other well-understood chronic medical illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma, which also have both physiological and behavioral components. Treatment of chronic diseases involves changing deeply imbedded behaviors, and relapse does not mean treatment has failed. For a person recovering from addiction, lapsing back to drug use indicates that treatment needs to be reinstated or adjusted or that another treatment should be tried.” For program details, participating police departments, and FAQ's please visit AWayOutLC.org.

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A Way Out Program
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