LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Right now, the heroin epidemic is deadly ... here in Louisville and across the country.

But you could safely say that Jeffersontown Police's Angel Program is saving lives, because 18 drug addicts have gone to treatment instead of jail ... or even worse.

The Morton Center held its annual luncheon benefit Tuesday. The goal is to raise money to help families who can't afford treatment.

"The Morton Center was very critical very early on," said Sgt. Brittany Garrett with the Jeffersontown Police Department. "They were one of the first ... organizations to say 'yes, we want to help you' and Priscilla and The Morton Center, they have been very supportive from the beginning."

Jeffersontown Police and The Morton Center are working together to help addicts and their families. In August, Jeffersontown Police launched the Angel Program, which allows drug addicts to go to the police department for treatment instead of jail. 

"I think once that word starts to spread, more people will start to come in," Sgt. Garrett said.

So far, the response has been good with 18 people coming in for treatment.

Sgt. Garrett spoke at The Morton Center's annual luncheon Tuesday, where she explained why the drug epidemic is a Kentuckiana problem.

"The majority of our participants have come from Louisville Metro, southern Indiana or outside of our county," she said. "One had an address from Jeffersontown."

The intake hours at the Jeffersontown Police Department are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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