BOSTON – Members of P.A.A.R.I.’s leadership team testified yesterday before the Massachusetts Legislature in support of a bill that would increase access to treatment and long term recovery and work to curb prescription drug misuse.
In their remarks in support of Governor Charlie Baker’s Bill No. H4033 “An Act Relative to Combating Addiction, Accessing Treatment, Reducing Prescriptions, and Enhancing Prevention” (The CARE Act) Executive Director Allie Hunter McDade and Co-Chairs John Rosenthal and Frederick Ryan discussed pre-arrest programs that save lives, increase access to treatment, reduce crime, build trust, and reduce health care and criminal justice costs.
Also in attendance was, Cody Desmond, P.A.A.R.I. AmeriCorps member and Recovery Coach at Lynn Police Department who shared his experiences and discussed the role of a Recovery Coach.
P.A.A.R.I. has 375 law enforcement partners in 32 states across the country and 74 police departments in Massachusetts have signed onto the organization since its founding in 2015 with Gloucester and Arlington Police.
Highlights from P.A.A.R.I.’s testimony include:
- We support legislation that will save lives and expand access to treatment and long term recovery like every other chronic disease, including:
- Requiring ERs to conduct an evaluation and provide a link to treatment following an overdose.
- Needing oversight of treatment provider licensing with an emphasis on medication assisted recovery.
- Making treatment available 24/7 to patients with public insurance on the same basis as private insurance.
- Expanding the role that Recovery Coaches play in successful long-term addiction treatment and recovery and creating more robust training and standards.
- Expanding access to nasal naloxone to all first responders.
P.A.A.R.I. also stands ready and willing to assist Massachusetts state government and Governor Baker’s administration to join two proposed state commissions to review treatment standards and create Recovery Coach standards in Massachusetts.
The CARE Act is sponsored by Governor Baker, who also gave the opening remarks at P.A.A.R.I.’s National Law Enforcement Summit in December sponsored by the BU School of Public Health and the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans.
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