John Rosenthal, Co-founder & Chairman
One Bridge St., Suite #300
Newton, MA 02458
For Immediate Release
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
P.A.A.R.I Announces First Partnerships With Maryland Agencies
Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Safe Stations Program Offers Help to Individuals Suffering From Opioid Addiction
GLOUCESTER, Mass. and ANNAPOLIS, Md. — More than three dozen Maryland public safety providers are pleased to announce the launch of the Safe Stations program, in partnership with the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I).
The Anne Arundel County Police and Fire Departments, as well as the Annapolis Police and Fire Departments have joined together in a local effort to combat a nationwide problem by opening the doors of their combined 38 stations as drop-in centers for individuals seeking help recovering from opioid addiction.
“P.A.A.R.I is thrilled to announce our first partnership in the state of Maryland. The Safe Stations Program is the first of its kind and scale, where all facets of public safety are working together to help those suffering with the disease of addiction get into treatment,” said P.A.A.R.I Executive Director Allie Hunter McDade. “We are excited to be part of this robust and innovative partnership with 38 drop in sites in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County and look forward to helping the program thrive.”
By becoming the first Maryland group to partner with P.A.A.R.I, the members of the Safe Stations program will offer those suffering from addiction a place to turn for help overcoming their battle with addiction 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
“The partnership with these agencies in Maryland is an exciting development that will no doubt have a tremendous positive impact,” said P.A.A.R.I Co-Founder and Chairman John Rosenthal. “I commend the public safety leaders in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County for sending a clear message that they’re committed to conquering the opioid epidemic in their communities.”
Safe Stations is structured in a similar way to P.A.A.R.I’s groundbreaking ANGEL program: When a person arrives at one of the 38 stations seeking help, a crisis response clinician will respond to the station and develop a recovery plan, addressing issues–including legal ones–that may arise and steering them toward treatment.
The Safe Stations program officially launched on April 20, and has so far placed 18 individuals into treatment. The program is managed by the Crisis Intervention Team, and led by Lt. Steven Thomas of the Anne Arundel County Police Department.
State’s Attorney Wes Adams said: “My office’s top priority is to reduce crime throughout the county and create safe communities for our citizens. We must ensure that those convicted of a crime do not become repeat offenders. When someone is battling drug addiction, incarceration for non-violent offenders, is not always the best solution. Often times, the most efficient route to reducing crime is through rehabilitation. The Safe Stations program creates a unique opportunity to address the underlying addiction that drives people to commit crimes in support of their habit.”
Major Scott Baker, Acting Chief of the Annapolis Police Department said: “”Working with P.A.A.R.I will supplement our law enforcement duties with additional help for those struggling with addiction. We are committed to partnerships like this one, which provide recovery assistance, and we hope it will help save lives and bring lasting positive change to the community.”
Anne Arundel County Chief of Police Tim Altomare said: “Our Safe Stations program provides a one stop shop for persons struggling with addiction to find timely help. Being able to provide these resources at that crucial moment when the individual is psychologically ready is critical. Our citizens struggling with addiction need help when they are ready to ‘get clean.’ If they are committed to wellness, the Police Department will help them get there.”
Jen Corbin, Director of the Anne Arundel County Crisis Response System, said: “Safe Stations is allowing people to seek help when they are ready for treatment. Crisis Response will be there to help individuals link to the appropriate resources and services 24 hours a day.”
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, prosecutors and treatment centers that 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.