LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — Lancaster police said over the course of two investigations they found 18 people who were selling drugs like K2 and crack cocaine. They think those dealers were specifically targeting the vulnerable people experiencing homelessness and often hang out at Binn’s Park.
The drug bust was part of an ongoing effort to clean up Binn’s Park, although one local addiction recovery expert says there is more to be done.
Christopher Dreisbach is the CEO of Blueprints for Addiction Recovery. You may not have guessed it from his successful business resume, but he’s also a former drug addict, a convicted felon, and was once homeless.
“Hope is a real thing and recovery from addiction is a real thing,” Dreisbach said. “I can stand here today and tell you that on a very personal level.”
That firsthand knowledge carries weight when he says he understands the challenges of addiction and living without a home.
“When you experience homelessness and substance abuse disorder at the same time, often with co-occurring mental health involved too, it’s almost impossible to see a way out. It almost feels like you can’t ever, ever get better,” Dreisbach said.
As part of his work involving recovery, he has been partnering with city leaders to help get resources to people who live at Binn’s Park and are addicted to drugs.
Which is why he was glad to hear about the Lancaster police operation that got drug dealers off the streets.
“We’ve been doing a lot of work down there for the last couple of months and trying to get people access to resources that they needed,” Dreisbach said. “It was often difficult when we’d see a K2 overdose right next door, or have someone sparking up a blunt when we’re trying to get somebody else into treatment right next to them. It’s definitely good that the folks at Lancaster City made that happen.”
He did note, however, that he would rather see the arrested dealers get the help they probably need too.
“I’m always a treatment over incarceration advocate. So, for the folks who got wrapped up dealing drugs I don’t want to say anything negative about them, because they’re probably good people who have problems of their own and they probably need help too,” Dreisbach said.
He understands personally that recovery is possible, and he’s made it his life’s mission to help others realize it too.
“If there’s anybody watching that’s struggling with substance use disorder or has a loved one struggling with substance use disorder, don’t give up on them. Don’t give up on yourself, because you can always come out the other side in a better place than you started,” Dreisbach said.
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