It's called the Access to Care Initiative.

According to the Times Herald Record, the initiative is being used to hopefully make it easier for anyone suffering from addiction to ask for help and actually get treatment.

Here is how the initiative is set up to work, if anyone that is suffering from addiction needs help, all they will need to do is approach a police officer on the street or at the local police station and ask for help. Once help is asked for the officer or Mobilemedic EMS will take the person to Catholic Charities in Monticello to get started on their road to recovery.

Sullivan County has taken this program from a local community because of how successful it been. The Village of Chatham over in Columbia County started the program three years ago and according to their Police Chief, Peter Volkmann, since it started they have connected about 210 people from eight different counties to treatment.

Chief Peter Volkmann told the Record that he started the program in Columbia County because when he was younger his parents taught him that if you ever have a problem or are in trouble, find a police officer for help, but he found that with substance abuse there seems to be a stigma and he wanted to change that.

He said that, “Why should addiction be any different from any other problem?” That stigma is why he shares his story of his struggle with alcoholism. His last drink was Sept. 2, 1995.

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