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Addiction Series E4- Role of Law Enforcement in Addiction

Welcome back the Portage Health Foundation Addiction Series. In this episode we’ll hear quite a bit from Houghton Police Chief John Donnelly about the vital role law enforcement plays in addiction. It’s eye-opening, and will help you better understand what’s being done to help those in need, even if they don’t realize they are in need of that help.

Highlights from Episode 4

John Donnelly, Chief of Police, Houghton Police Department

  • “We hold people accountable.”
  • “Drug court is something that helps people.”
  • “There’s a lot of judgment when it comes to addiction. People think it’s a choice, but it’s more of a disease than choice.”
  • “It’s important for law enforcement is to try and get out there and fin people who are having addiction problems and hold them accountable and get them in some kind of rehab. Then the next level is people who have addiction problems who are dealing drugs to support those problems. We want to hold them accountable, put them under arrest and get them into drug court so they can straighten out.”
  • “With the forming of USPET West we’ve been able to curve back a lot of that pipeline that was coming up here. For a while it was low risk and high profit to bring heroin up in this area.”
  • “We’ve tightened things up.”
  • “Now we’re actually building cases on these dealers.”
  • “We can get the suppliers out of the occasion.”
  • “Have less people get addicted, especially to the street drugs.”

Looking Ahead

Thanks to Chief Donnelly for sharing his experiences helping those with addiction issues. We’ll hear more from him later in the series, including an entire episode diving into what UPSET West has accomplished since its inception. In episode five we will hear from Kevin Store, Executive Director with the Portage Health Foundation. He’ll talk about the economic impacts addiction has on our community.

More About PHF’s Addiction Series

Visit to see a list of all episodes, find resources on addiction in our community and to subscribe to receive an email when the next episode drops. Be sure to subscribe the Portage Health Foundation’s YouTube channel to never miss a video episode or find PHF Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts to catch the audio version of this podcast.