John Rosenthal, Co-founder & Chairman
One Bridge St., Suite #300
Newton, MA 02458
For Immediate Release
Monday, March 13, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Lake County, Ill. Police Departments Come Together to Join P.A.A.R.I.
GLOUCESTER — John Rosenthal, Co-founder and Chairman of the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.), and Executive Director Allie Hunter McDade are pleased to announce that seven police departments in Lake County, Ill. have joined P.A.A.R.I. with their expansive countywide addiction recovery program.
“A Way Out Lake County” offers participants and their loved ones the opportunity for help and treatment to end the destructive cycle that substance abuse, dependency or addiction has caused in their lives, according to a website launched for the initiative. The program aims to remove the many barriers for entry into treatment and recovery programs while reducing the stigma and shame associated with the disease of addiction.
Modeled on the Gloucester ANGEL Initiative, the program also offers participants a police-led entry point into treatment without the fear of arrest, incarceration, or prosecution.
”Addiction is a disease. A Way Out treats it like one. We want to help people struggling with substance abuse, not arrest them,” shared Mundelein Police Department Chief of Police Eric Guenther.
“The list of police departments, sheriffs, and non-profit organizations coming together to battle the nationwide opioid epidemic is growing by the day, and I am very proud that Lake County has come together to recognize the very real public health component of this crisis,” Rosenthal said. “P.A.A.R.I. is proud to welcome these seven agencies into our organization, and we stand ready and willing to assist these brave and bold law enforcement leaders.”
Participation in the A Way Out program is streamlined so that potential partnerships can enter the lobby of any participating agency 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays. Once some arrives, a police representative meets with them and/or loved ones to go over intake forms and paperwork. If the participant is in possession of drugs, the police department will take them and destroy them appropriately. The Lake County Health Department, a partner of the initiative, then conducts a phone screening to determine the appropriate course of treatment for each participant, including inpatient and outpatient options. Local partners and P.A.A.R.I. national treatment partners are able to accommodate participants and work with insurance companies.
“This program is a prime example of what can be accomplished when leaders from the public and private section work together to bring real solutions to an issue that effects our entire community,” says Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim.
The State of Illinois has been a major source of law enforcement partners since the early days of P.A.A.R.I. in 2015. A total of 16 agencies, including the Illinois Chiefs of Police Association have joined with P.A.A.R.I. The Dixon Police Department and the Lee County Sheriffs Department were the first agencies to join from Illinois.
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. Since June 2015, more than 200 law enforcement agencies from 29 states have joined P.A.A.R.I. Learn more at paariusa.org.