New program in Vestavia Hills takes new approach to drug addiction treatment

New program in Vestavia Hills takes new approach to drug addiction treatment

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Millions of Americans every year battle some type of drug addiction. However, statistics show the number of those who seek treatment is relatively low.

“When someone decides that they are ready, and that they need help, and they are ready to accept it, we are here for them,” said Cinnamon McCulley, communication specialist for city of Vestavia Hills.

McCulley is talking about their new Phoenix Program, which is the brainchild of Mayor Ashley Curry. They chose the name as a sort of symbolism to Greek mythology.

“I’m sure you’ve heard the story of Phoenix rising from the ashes,” she said. “If they are ready for help, ready for assistance to rise out of the ashes with a new life.”

The way it works is an addict can go to the Vestavia Hills police or fire stations and ask for help.

“And when they walk in they’re immediately evaluated. They’ll do a medical evaluation, just to make sure they are OK. And after that they will contact the appropriate resource agency,” said McCulley.

If the person has drugs on them, they can also turn them in without the fear of going to jail.

“Of course we’re not going to allow them to leave with the drugs. They will be confiscated. But the person will not be arrested,” said McCulley.

The thought is to get people help immediately, pairing them with the appropriate agency, and hopefully improve their chances of a successful recovery.

“When an addict has decided that they need assistance, it’s best to give them that assistance immediately. Otherwise they’re going to return to whatever was giving them relief previously,” said McCulley.

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