John Rosenthal, Co-founder & Chairman
One Bridge St., Suite #300
Newton, MA 02458
For Immediate Release
Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
P.A.A.R.I. National Police Council Sends Letter to Congress Stressing Importance of Access to Opioid Treatment Options
More Than 100 Law Enforcement Members Nationwide Sign On
GLOUCESTER — John Rosenthal, Co-founder and Chairman of the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.), announces that P.A.A.R.I.’s National Police Council has sent a letter to members of Congress stressing the importance of continuing to provide affordable opioid addiction treatment.
The letter, signed by more than 100 law enforcement members from across the country (and counting), comes on the cusp of potential changes in healthcare as the new administration reviews the nation’s policies and procedures. (If you cannot click the link above, copy and paste the following into your browser: http://jgpr.net/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2017/01/new-paari-letter.pdf )
With drug overdose deaths now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, exceeding even motor vehicle accidents, the need for access to mental illness and addiction-related care is more imperative than ever.
“The loss of access to treatment would be devastating to those seeking help overcoming their addiction,” Rosenthal said. “The opioid epidemic affects every community in this nation and increasing access to treatment is a bipartisan issue and must be at the forefront of Congress’s agenda. A loss of health care and affordable health insurance will have devastating consequences for millions of Americans suffering with the disease of addiction. We strongly urge Congress to stand with P.A.A.R.I. and our more than 200 law enforcement partners across the country by recognizing addiction as a disease and refraining from making changes that will prevent people in need from getting life-saving treatment.”
“We need to stop criminalizing addiction and empower people to seek help, thus defeating the stigma of addiction,” said Arlington Police Chief Frederick Ryan, chairman of the Police Council. “This is why P.A.A.R.I. was created — to assist police departments throughout the nation, who have recognized addiction as a disease, help people access the treatment they need to recover. We’re committed to this mission and we hope that the new administration will support us going forward.”
In just over a year-and-a-half, P.A.A.R.I. has grown into a network of more than 200 police departments in 28 states, and works with over 300 treatment centers to secure fully-funded scholarships for participants with or without insurance.
“P.A.A.R.I. is reshaping the war on drugs through proactive crime-fighting strategies that place people suffering from addiction into treatment instead of jail. This is not a ‘light on crime’ approach. This is a ‘smart on crime’ approach,” said Dixon, Ill. Police Chief Danny Langloss, a member of the Police Council. “We are reducing drug-related crimes by 30 percent in our communities. We are saving lives, restoring families and seeing unprecedented success rates in treatment that we have never seen before.”
Police officials who would like to sign the letter can do so here. (Or paste: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeq0m7LZGHbQeS_VSZrKJTvwCut-9ZsHbeL6xh4TBo-NIZgBg/viewform?c=0&w=1 )
Additionally, individuals and non-police agencies who would like to show their support can join here and are also encouraged to call their elected officials directly to state their support. You can find your representative here.
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.
P.A.A.R.I. is an independent nonprofit organization that supports law enforcement agencies in setting up, communicating and running their own addiction and recovery programs. The police departments, sheriffs offices, and prosecutors who have partnered with P.A.A.R.I. interact directly with members of the public and those seeking treatment, recovery, and resources. Learn more at paariusa.org.