UPDATED 10/29/15 @ 6:20 p.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) – One week after a man called 911 to seek help for his drug addiction, there is hope that more people will do the same.
On October 21st, the same day President Barack Obama visited Charleston to discuss the drug epidemic, a Cross Lanes man called 911, asking for law enforcement to respond to his home. When they arrived, he said he was an addict, leading them to a cooler filled with marijuana, ecstasy, and pain pills.
Kanawha County Sheriff’s Deputies did not charge the man with a crime, instead taking him to a drug rehab program.
“Having somebody turn themselves into the police in order to try to get treatment… This may be a first,” said Dr. David Clayman, a clinical and forensic psychologist in Charleston. “Many addicts want to get help. But, the fear is, if they turn themselves in, they’d either be arrested for possession or some drug related crime. The basis now is based upon what [Charleston Police] Chief Webster was saying, which is, ‘We’re here to help you and give you a second chance.’ And everybody’s now talking about the movement of giving people a second chance at getting their lives back.”
In a press release, the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department announced they would not be filing charges against the Cross Lanes man, saying “we applaud this person’s self-initiated efforts and wish him well in his recovery.”
CROSS LANES, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Like many West Virginians, a man from Cross Lanes watched President Obama address the drug addiction problem during his visit to Charleston on Oct. 21.
Later that day, he called 911 and said he needed help for a drug addiction and asked that deputies be sent to his home.
The Kanawha County Sheriff's Office released details of the incident Wednesday in a release that ended with, "We applaud this person's self-initiated efforts and wish him well in his recovery."
The Sheriff's Office said after repeated calls back from 911 operators that day, their deputies went to the man's home. They said he put his hands on the wall and said he needed help.
The man, in his mid-30s, then showed Deputy J.A. Smith a cooler full of drugs that included included digital scales, 16 Suboxone packs and patches, marijuana, 19 grams of ecstasy and 158 pain pills.
The man admitted he was a heavy drug user, had watched the President's speech and wanted to live a drug-free life for his mother.
The Sheriff's Department said Wednesday that no charges will be filed against the man. Instead, he was taken by ambulance to a treatment center where he voluntarily entered a drug-addiction rehabilitation program.
They did not release his name or address.