Giving Addicts a ‘Second Chance’

SCRANTON, Pa. -- A drug rehab center in Lancaster County has plans to bring a program to Lackawanna County meant to combat opioid overdose deaths.

It's called the Second Chance and could mean that drug addicts who interact with police may never face criminal charges.

The CEO of Blueprints, a drug rehab center in Lancaster, is looking to expand the Second Chance program to Lackawanna County. He's working with the district attorney and police chiefs here to help get addicts into rehab faster and without legal consequences.

Christopher Dreisbach and Marty Henehan are two men both in recovery and both now helping folks addicted to opioids. They recognize that the opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania may need radical solutions.

"If someone had intervened on me when I was 18 and given me an opportunity to change my life with the proper treatment and intervention, I might have saved 700 days in jail, and I might have saved a boatload of pain for a lot of people. I am hoping to do that for a ton of families in Lackawanna County," said Dreisbach.

Dreisbach's drug rehab company Blueprints operates in Lancaster County. Starting January 1, Blueprints and two police departments in the Lancaster area kicked off the Second Chance program.

It makes police stations a safe haven for addicts looking for help and gives those people the opportunity to go to rehab to avoid criminal charges.

They're now working with law enforcement in Lackawanna County to get Second Chance up and running here.

"Lackawanna County is definitely one of the counties in the state that suffers most from opioid-related deaths and really, substance-use disorder, period," Dreisbach said.

"for a lot of kids, they might be viewing this as their second chance, but the reality is, this might potentially be their last chance," Marty Henehan said.

Blueprints plans to open a satellite office on West Market Street in north Scranton. Workers there would be dispatched when police encounter an addict who wants help.

"I think that the Second Chance program for Lackawanna County is the next right thing, I'm really excited about it," Henehan added.

"The crisis is so bad that ideas like this have to be implemented or we are going to lose an entire generation of people, and I won't stand idly by and watch that," Dreisbach said.

According to officials from Blueprints, in the 11 days they have been using the Second Chance program in Lancaster County, 13 people have been put in touch with rehab programs.

Blueprints hopes to start the program in Lackawanna County sometime this year.

The Scranton police chief told us that he would support it.

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16 comments

  • Dick Goezinya

    This is a multi-billion dollar industry that has a success rate of around 5-10% depending on who you ask. That’s shameful. If your loved one’s life depended on it, where would you rather them go for treatment? A non-profit like Hazelden or Betty Ford which uses science based treatment approaches, or a for-profit company that has to answer to investors on how quickly they’re pumping these people through the revolving door and how much money they’re able to squeeze out of every addict? Call me cynical but if this is a for-profit company, a lot of people in Lancaster and Lackawanna counties are going to make a lot of money but nearly all of the addicts will be no better off than when they started.

  • Dick Goezinya

    Is Blueprints a non-profit rehab or a for-profit business? Do your own research on why pretty much every doctor trained in addiction recommends against using any for-profit rehab…

  • straubdavid9

    Again, and again, and again, the squeaky wheel gets the grease ….. meanwhile, resources that should have gone to people that have never done a wrong thing in their lives, and just need a temporary hand up, go to the dregs of society……. generational parasites that suck the coffers dry, and won’t lift a finger to help fix their own situation. What ever happened to “A hand up …. not a handout”? One of these days the “well” is going to run dry if the government doesn’t start putting some meaningful stipulations on these freebies! What used to be considered a way to provide for a need, has morphed into a way of life. Even this NARCAN crap will be used by addicts to enable themselves to continue to use. If these people can use some of the ingenuity they waste on getting their drugs ….. many of them may be able to do something positive in their wretched lives. These people don’t care what they do to themselves, why should we allow them to hold the rest of us hostage?

    • Harley Nay

      No reward for staying straight…How about we get together do some opioids and get a pat on the back with some freebies….stop being a nice guy…become a scum bag and get handouts

    • donald fox

      They have it for D.U.I. It is called the A.R.D program. You see alot of people getting the ARD program for first time DUI. I dont see any problems with this at all if the people go to the police then they can get help to combat their addiction. The police arent paying for it you are still responsible for your own rehab bill.

    • commentswithabrain

      So let’s say a loved one had cancer – stage 3 non-small cell lung cancer has a 5% survival rate – would you tell them to not bother with treatment? some people DO get better. I’m not saying this should be a repeat program (its called second chance not tenth chance) but instead of destroying a life maybe give someone a chance to turn things around..?

      • commentswithabrain

        Are you honestly as dumb as your post history suggests? It’s 100% a disease. The definition of the word is “a disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant, especially one that produces specific signs or symptoms or that affects a specific location and is not simply a direct result of physical injury.”