Local Somerset County police helping addicts get treatment

Former addict discusses his battle with drugs, alcohol

The Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program launched in the county in early May through the state Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office.

It helps low-level, non-violent criminal offenders who are addicted to drugs get into treatment. So far, two addicts have been referred by local police to rehab centers.

“It’s not complicated if you have that foundation in place,” said Lisa Lazzari-Strasiser, the Somerset County District Attorney. “When someone is at the point and says they need help, you have to get them help. You can’t have a delay.”

The process is simple: addicts or their families can call local or state police or they can show up at the department and say they want to go into treatment.

Small amounts of drugs or paraphernalia found on those individuals at the time will be confiscated, however, they will not be charged in most cases. Each individual is evaluated by law enforcement on a case-by-case basis, depending on their criminal record or genuine desire to get clean.