By ZEINAB NAJM
HEIGHTS — ACCESS is partnering with the Police Department to bring its Substance Abuse Program to residents of the city.
During a Feb. 24 announcement, Capt. Corey Smith said the program is going to focus on substance abuse disorder and people suffering from mental health crisis issues.
“We have chosen Officer Hamze Younis to represent the agency to work closely with ACCESS in dealing and reaching out to citizens that may be struggling with substance abuse disorder or mental health issues,” Smith said. “As we know, these issues affect people from all walks of life.”
Younis has experience dealing with similar types of issues from a prior job and also speaks Arabic and English allowing him to communicate with residents.
“The ACCESS program is an outreach program for our citizens in the community of Dearborn Heights,” Younis said. “It is targeting substance abuse and mental health crisis. If you or anyone you know is suffering from sustenance abuse or mental health crisis please don’t be afraid to reach out to me for this program.”
Younis can be reached by email at [email protected] or phone at the department’s general information line by calling 313-277-6770 and selecting option three.
“We are very passionate in helping people — the Dearborn Heights Police Department enrages anybody and everyone that wants treatment to just to know what ACCESS has to offer to contact me,” Younis said.
ACCESS SAP aims to bringing awareness and addressing stigmas related to substance use disorders through community engagement and collaborations, according to the program’s website page.
The program’s mission is to empower community members to support drug free communities through education, advocacy, trainings, and research. The substance abuse prevention program is also dedicated to linking community members to mental health resources.
Ahmad Ballout, an ACCESS substance use disorder advocate and community health educator, will partner with the department to reach out to people who are survivors of overdoes or people with mental health crisis issues. He also has a background in law enforcement.
“My passion for this program is to provide credible care for people,” Ballout said. “We understand that protecting Dearborn Heights means building systems and practices that allow for proper healing and second chances to all. We provide clients, family and friends with Narcan training and Narcan kits. We provide home visits while respecting COVID-19 precautions and safety.
“We provide welfare checks to make sure people are doing well in these unprecedented times and we connect out clients to a variety of different programs and we also provide resources to relatives and loved ones.”
ACCESS Community Engagement Manager Mona Abdallah-Hijazi said she was proud to announce the expansion of ASAP to Dearborn Heights in partnership with the police department.
“Stigma surrounding addiction and drug use has damaged the lives of our community members and their loved ones,” she said. “Our program continues to focus on rehabilitating the vulnerable communities we serve. We are planning to work with the Dearborn Heights Police Department to identify those most vulnerable and direct them to appropriate resources.”
For more information on the program go to accesscommunity.org.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected].)