FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 2017
Arizona Governor’s Office Media Contact: Samuel Burba
P.A.A.R.I. Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Office of National Drug Control Policy Highlights Importance of Arizona’s Angel Initiative in Addressing Overdose Epidemic
PHOENIX — Today, Acting Director Richard Baum of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and Director Debbie Moak of the Arizona Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family hosted a press conference highlighting the Arizona Angel Initiative. The meeting with the press came after a series of National Drug Control Strategy consultation meetings with Arizona prevention, treatment, recovery, and law enforcement leaders.
“It has been my pleasure to welcome Acting Director Baum to Arizona to discuss Arizona Drug Control Policy,” stated Governor Ducey. “My administration looks forward to continued dialogue and partnership with the Office of National Drug Control Policy.”
The Arizona Angel Initiative allows individuals residing in Maryvale to enter the Maryvale Estrella Mountain Precinct, surrender their drugs and request substance abuse treatment. The Phoenix Police Department will conduct a background check to ensure the individual is not wanted for any crimes. After the initial background check, the individual will be connected with low to no-cost substance abuse treatment.
“We know that everyone has a role to play in ending the overdose epidemic, and the Angel Initiative is a great example of local law enforcement officers working with public health to respond to this epidemic,” said Acting Director of National Drug Control Policy Richard Baum. “This is exactly the kind of local leadership we need to end this crisis.”
The Arizona Angel Initiative has been modeled after the Police Assisted Addiction Recovery Initiative (PAARI) to offer treatment over incarceration for individuals suffering from substance use disorder. Maryvale residents suffering from substance use disorder are encouraged to participate in the program. To learn more about the initiative, visit SubstanceAbuse.AZ.gov.
“The Arizona Angel Initiative is the first program of its kind here in Arizona,” stated Debbie Moak, Director of the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family. “It provides additional tools to our law enforcement officers to protect our communities while connecting people suffering with substance use disorder with care.” ###
“The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative applauds Arizona Angel Initiative and the efforts of Governor Ducey, Acting Baum, and the Phoenix Police Department for working to combat the nationwide opioid epidemic by directly helping those suffering from the disease of addiction retake their lives,” said John Rosenthal, Chairman of P.A.A.R.I. “Law enforcement leaders around the nation are taking up the mantle of addiction by expanding access to treatment, which fights addiction at the demand side, rather than just the supply side. The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative stands ready to support our partners in Arizona in any ways possible.”
About us: The Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family (GOYFF) seeks to educate all Arizona communities about substance abuse, the disease of addiction and the stigma associated with addiction. GOYFF envisions an Arizona where substance abuse is treated as a significant public health issue and therefore focuses on prevention education, early intervention and treatment for all. GOYFF believes that prevention is best, treatment is effective and people do recover.
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.