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Getting help with drug addiction can be a long road, but officials with Richmond Ambulance Authority said it’s becoming increasingly problematic with a slew of bad contact information. They’re asking for people to remain honest with them when it comes to getting the help they need.

“Recovering from drug addiction is a long process, but if you leave a bad number, then we can’t reach you,” said Beth Powell, a Health Educator who is also a recovering addict herself. “When we do get a good number it usually goes well, as we can make a connection with them. But if not, then it’s back to the drawing board.”

Powell is part of a program called “First Responders for Recovery,” dedicated to helping connect those suffering from drug or opioid addictions with recovery resources. In the past year since it’s been operating, more than 200 people have signed into the program, but not everyone completes it.

“A lot of people indicate they want help, but ultimately can be difficult to find,” said Amit Patel. “We ask them while they are in the ambulance what they want to do, and if they say yes, then we can connect them to those resources and the information they give us remains completely private.”

One of those who chose to enter the program was a woman named ‘Colleen.’ She had overdosed on heroin and said it was when she was lying in an ambulance that she decided to change her life.

“This is never what I had imagined for myself, and it’s kind of sad because for so long I was actually doing so well,” said Colleen. “It took me a while for me to realize it was okay to ask for help, and I don’t think anyone can really go through this alone.”

Richmond Ambulance Authority is asking those who do indicate they want help to leave their correct information behind. They are ready for whenever that person decides to pick up the phone. For more information on how to get in contact click HERE.