BERLIN – The Worcester County Warriors Against Opiate Addiction will host a training session Saturday for a new program that will offer a window of opportunity for those in crisis situations.
The program, entitled Warrior Angel, will offer addicts or their family members a phone number to contact a volunteer mentor, who will provide resources to relatives and see individuals through to treatment.
“There are several different ways we can get in contact with them,” Warrior Angel Board member Tish Ottey said. “The police department might encounter someone who instead of going to jail, have the opportunity to go to rehab, or family members that need services. Then a volunteer will hopefully be well-versed in resources and provide everything we know so far.”
The training session for the program is open to those with a connection to addiction that are interested in becoming an “angel” to those in crisis situations, according to Ottey.
The event will last from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will take place in the Stephen Decatur High School cafeteria.
In a Warriors meeting last Thursday, Ottey shared details about the training session and the program with members who were in attendance.
On Saturday, participants will review paperwork and protocols, learn about Worcester County Health Department services and interact with officials from the Worcester County Crisis Response Team and Community Outreach Addiction Team (COAT) in Wicomico County.
“From there we will have the phone ready,” Ottey said. “We’ll have a sign-up for who wants to be on call first to be the first test subject basically. So we are going to learn as we go, but hopefully we will have a good training to start and then kind of build on that.”
One member in the crowd addressed liability concerns and the responsibility involved with being a volunteer.
Ottey replied that all volunteers must complete a waiver and be open and honest with those that ask for help.
“You are not a professional,” she said. “You tell them that upfront. You say, ‘I am literally here to support you and I will help you though this process the best way I know how.’”
In a separate conversation, Ottey said police departments have given their blessing and other agencies – Atlantic General Hospital, Worcester County Health Department, and the W.A.C.S. Center – have supported the program.
The program and training session is facilitated through the Worcester County Warrior volunteers, but Ottey said potential grant money and donations could cover the costs associated with Warrior Angels going into the future.
Ottey said those interested in participating in Saturday’s training can email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a seat. Those unable to attend will have the opportunity to participate in another training event in the near future.
“The Mission Statement of the Warrior Angels is to assist the addict and the addict’s family in navigating through the options of treatment facilities,” she said. “The Warrior Angel volunteers have some type of passion or connection with addiction. They have either experienced it themselves, in their family or in some type of relationship. These volunteers are there to assist the addict through the process to get help all the while being a supportive person in the addict’s attempt to get clean. These volunteers are not experts but all have a drive to help the addict and the addicts family. This will be a learning experience for all involved and we are fortunate to have such caring members in our community willing to help.”