In a four-part segment, WCVB Channel 5’s Chronicle featured the Gloucester Angel Initiative and how it has grown over the last two years.
The program detailed the background of the Angel Initiative and how the City of Gloucester has been hit particularly hard by the opioid epidemic. Steve Lesnikoski, the first participant in Gloucester’s ANGEL Initiative, shared his experience with addiction and how working with the police department gave him confidence and success in recovery that he didn’t feel he could get working with hospitals or other treatment programs.
Gloucester’s own Mayor, Sefatia Romeo Theken, shared her personal story of how addiction has touched her life and how powerful that police assisted recovery can be.
As a result of the Gloucester Police Department and P.A.A.R.I.’s work, the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association and The Fishing Partnership have begun working together to provide education and training for fishermen on using the opioid reversal drug Narcan and carrying it on their boats.
Recovering addicts and families of those who have suffered fatal overdoses shared their stories and experiences working with Gloucester’s Angel Initiative and P.A.A.R.I. Many spoke about the stigma of addiction and how much of a barrier to treatment and recovery that it can place on those who suffer from the disease of addiction.
The final segment of the program highlighted the success of the Angel Initiative and P.A.A.R.I. — more than 500 addicts have been placed into treatment with the help of local police since the program’s inception two years ago. Additionally, 262 law enforcement agencies from 30 states have partnered with P.A.A.R.I. and developed similar initiatives in their own departments.
To view each segment, follow the links below: