John Rosenthal, Co-founder & Chairman
One Bridge St., Suite #300
Newton, MA 02458
For Immediate Release
Friday, Oct. 7, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
P.A.A.R.I. Celebrates Vote Allowing Police Departments to Carry Higher Doses of Narcan
Massachusetts Police Departments will now be Eligible for Free Narcan Distributed through Grant Program
GLOUCESTER — The distribution and proliferation of lifesaving Nacan is key to the mission of the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative, and today Chairman John Rosenthal and the board of directors are lauding a vote of the Massachusetts Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS), which has changed its policies governing the dosages of Nasal Narcan that may be carried by law enforcement officers.
Previously, OEMS guidelines only allowed police to carry 2 mg doses. Now, Massachusetts is in line with nearly all other states in allowing officers to carry stronger, more effective 4 mg doses.
Under the previous guidelines Massachusetts police departments were ineligible for thousands of free Nasal Narcan departments, which had been secured by P.A.A.R.I., free of charge, thanks to a donation from Adapt Pharma. In July, Adapt agreed to provide 10,000 doses of Narcan to P.A.A.R.I. partner agencies.
P.A.A.R.I. and Dr. Alexander Walley of Boston Medical Center will work to properly distribute the doses to P.A.A.R.I. partners across the state.
Rosenthal and the P.A.A.R.I. board would like to applaud Governor Charlie Baker and Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders for their continued support toward changing the conversation around the disease of addiction and implementing positive reforms to help address this disease.
“I am very pleased that the Office of Emergency Medical Services has voted to allow police to carry 4 mg Narcan doses. We have long advocated for this change in policy. Police officers are so often the first ones at the scene of a potentially fatal overdose. With stronger and more dangerous drugs like Fentanyl claiming more and more lives each day, stronger, more potent doses of Nasal Nacan allow first responders to save more lives,” Rosenthal said. “We cannot save a dead person. Every life saved with Narcan is an opportunity for a person suffering from the disease of addiction to reclaim their life.”
With the change in policy, P.A.A.R.I. is working closely with Adapt Pharma to immediately begin distributing doses of its Narcan Nasal Spray product to nearly three dozen police departments in Massachusetts who have partnered with P.A.A.R.I. A list can be found here.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drug overdose deaths are now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States for people ages 25 to 64, exceeding even motor vehicle accidents. In fact, there are almost 29,000 deaths caused by drug overdoses in the United States each year – a number that could be dramatically reduced by expanding Narcan use in communities and first responder groups, like law enforcement.
About the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.):
P.A.A.R.I. police departments share a common mission: 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 with treatment programs and facilities and provide resources to other police departments and communities that want to do more to fight the opioid epidemic.
In just over a year, P.A.A.R.I. has grown into a network of more than 150 police departments across the country and over 200 treatment centers to secure fully-funded scholarships for participants with or without insurance. Learn more at paariusa.org.