Joshua Morrison/News Lane Belangia, left, director of the Community Health Center speaks to the media along with Mount Vernon Fire Chief Chad Christopher of the fire station at 200 W. Gambier St. becoming a drug addiction safe station Thursday.

Joshua Morrison/News

Lane Belangia, left, director of the Community Health Center speaks to the media along with Mount Vernon Fire Chief Chad Christopher of the fire station at 200 W. Gambier St. becoming a drug addiction safe station Thursday.

MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon Fire Department has started a new feature to help area residents break the addiction cycle.

The fire station on West Gambier Street in Mount Vernon has begun the program called Knox C.A.R.E.S (Community Action to Reduce and Eliminate Substance Abuse) and it has been designated a Safe Station for those in need.

The goal with the new program is to address the immediate needs of those members of the community that are having a drug-related crisis.

The program provides a safe and discreet avenue for those afflicted with addiction to gain access to treatment and recovery.

At any time day or night, one can go to the Mount Vernon Fire Department and ask for help with an addiction. The fire station encourages those who request help to bring their drugs, tools and other paraphernalia to the station and they will assess your condition and coordinate a transfer to the health department — all without the liability of being taken into police custody.

The Knox C.A.R.E.S program also includes recovery and treatment partners and will provide information on the care best suited for the individual case — and connect the visitor to the care needed.

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John Wareham: 740-397-5333 or john.wareham@mountvernonnews.com and on Twitter, @mountvernonnews