For Immediate Release
Thursday, March 3, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Cheshire County in New Hampshire Joins P.A.A.R.I. to Expand Addiction Recovery Initiatives
Law Enforcement Leaders Partner to Launch Two Programs In March
KEENE, N.H. — Law enforcement and community leaders in Cheshire County have come together to announce a partnership with the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.). As a result, police and fire departments will implement the Coordinated Access Point Program (CAPP) and Cheshire County Assisted Addiction Recovery Initiative (CHAARI) this month.
CAPP is a pilot program created to address the current opioid epidemic. Fourteen people in Keene, N.H. alone have overdosed in the last couple months, and two of the victims died.
The initiative aims to provide a single point of contact for individuals seeking to begin treatment to recover from their addiction. Southwestern Community Services, a nonprofit community action agency, will work directly with law enforcement to help people receive treatment.
“We are so pleased to be able to expand our mission as advocates of those in need by partnering with police and fire officials in Cheshire County to create an addiction recovery program,” said Laurie J. Tyler, Director of Housing Stabilization Services at Southwestern Community Services. “Together we can help our most vulnerable populations work toward a new, healthier life.”
CAPP works by providing a single contact for those looking to recover from their addiction.
A 24/7 number will be monitored by CAPP representatives, who will in turn dispatch a recovery coach to the individual’s location by working with all emergency responders, ER staff, and fire departments throughout Cheshire County. Participants will then be brought to the ER and work with one of CAPP’s 45 recovery coaches to create a treatment program that will work for their individual needs.
The program is unique to Cheshire County, and through funding secured by Senator Molly Kelly in October, will run for 18 months. If CAPP proves to be successful, the state Legislature will look to fund similar initiatives throughout New Hampshire.
At the same time, law enforcement will continue to investigate and arrest those who choose to sell and distribute drugs in their communities. However, following the model of the Gloucester ANGEL Initiative, created by Gloucester, Mass. Police Chief Leonard Campanello, individuals who ask for help with their addiction and turn in their drugs and paraphernalia, will be paired with a recovery coach to be placed into treatment.
“We were inspired by Chief Campanello’s program and innovative approach to addressing the opioid epidemic,” Cheshire County Sheriff Eli Rivera said. “This is a problem that police across the country have been struggling with, and we believe we’ve created a plan that tackles both the supply and demand side of this epidemic.”
CHAARI is a sub component of CAPP and will focus on three key components to save lives:
- Prevention/education (beginning before high school)
- Enforcement (emphasis to those supplying and committing crimes)
Working directly with P.A.A.R.I. to address the treatment and recovery component, Cheshire County will seek out those suffering from the disease of addiction and pair them with treatment and recovery centers, drawing from P.A.A.R.I.’s nationwide network and cultivating its own treatment partners locally and elsewhere.
“If we as a community and county are to maximize effectiveness of this initiative, each part of the trio must continue to work together,” Keene Police Chief Brian Costa said. “We will have a vital role to play and must support those seeking help for their addiction while targeting those supplying, selling an distributing these harmful drugs to our residents.”
Chief Campanello and John Rosenthal, co-founders of P.A.A.R.I., commend the police, fire and community leaders in Cheshire County that have bonded together to form an addiction recovery initiative in their communities. They offer their support, advice and guidance with the implementation and development of CAPP and CHAARI.
“The number of law enforcement and public safety entities that have joined together in Cheshire County is remarkable and further proves the commitment to this epidemic that those of us in the field have,” Chief Campanello added. “Cheshire County has the full support of P.A.A.R.I. and the Gloucester Initiative.”
The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) was launched to support police departments around the nation as they work to help those suffering from the disease of addiction. The United States faces a nationwide heroin and opioid epidemic, with more people now dying from overdoses than from car accidents in this country. Rather than arrest our way out of the problem of drug addiction, P.A.A.R.I. committed police departments:
• Encourage opioid drug users to seek recovery
• Help distribute life saving opioid blocking drugs to prevent and treat overdoses
• Connect those struggling with the disease of addiction to treatment programs and facilities
• Provide resources to other police departments and communities that want to do more to fight the opioid addiction epidemic
P.A.A.R.I. was created by Gloucester Police Chief Leonard Campanello and John Rosenthal to bridge the gap between police departments and those struggling with the disease of addiction.