PAARI http://paariusa.org The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative Wed, 18 Apr 2018 17:49:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 https://i0.wp.com/paariusa.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/46/2015/06/PAARI_Logo_PUB_052815-02-11-5570acc8v1_site_icon.png?fit=32%2C32 PAARI http://paariusa.org 32 32 93051737 True Stories: Offering Help and Hope http://paariusa.org/2018/03/16/true-stories-offering-help-and-hope/ http://paariusa.org/2018/03/16/true-stories-offering-help-and-hope/#respond Fri, 16 Mar 2018 18:13:08 +0000 http://paariusa.org/?p=4445 Recovery Coach, AmeriCorps member, mother of six, partner, mentor, friend: Tracey Drimer has endless amounts of energy and enthusiasm that she owes to her passion for helping others, as well as coffee - and lots of it.

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Written by guest contributor Melissa Thompson

Recovery Coach, AmeriCorps member, mother of six, partner, mentor, friend: Tracey Drimer has endless amounts of energy and enthusiasm that she owes to her passion for helping others, as well as coffee – and lots of it.

In recovery from heroin addiction for nearly seven years, Tracey was inspired to make a difference and shatter the stigma that surrounds addiction and medication-assisted treatment. “People see Methadone and Suboxone as a crutch,” she says. “I was made to feel ashamed of my treatment pathway, but it’s proven – it works for many people.”

Encouraged by her boyfriend – also a Recovery Coach – Tracey began her career by volunteering at the EB Hope Drop-In Center in East Bridgewater and began attending Recovery Coach Academy. After learning about the partnership between PAARI and AmeriCorps, she knew this would be the right opportunity to reach even more people in the community.

Working with police departments primarily in Hingham, Hull, Norwell, and Cohasset, a typical assignment starts after someone has overdosed, treated at the hospital, and refuses further treatment. This where Tracey springs into action, visiting the person at their home the following day. Accompanied by a police officer, Tracey sits down with the addict, as well as their loved ones – offering support, resources, and various options for treatment and recovery.

“Each call is different,” says Tracey. “Some people are receptive, some feel hopeless and confused. Often people need time to process what we talk about and they reach back out to me at a later time. When I’m at the home, we explore all the different recovery options available.”

“Whether it’s inpatient, outpatient, going to meetings, or medication-assisted treatment – everyone’s path is different. I try to make them aware of what’s out there, meet their needs, and educate them. I’m not there to judge them, I’m there to help them and I can truly relate to what they are going through.”

Working with AmeriCorps has made a positive impact on Tracey’s own growth and she’s facing a bright future full of possibilities. “Since being in recovery, my quality of life is incredibly different. I love giving people hope that their quality of life can be this good, too,” explains Tracey.

“When people realize that recovery is possible – that they are worth it – and seeing them just come alive – that’s what keep me going every day.”

Learn more about our AmeriCorps members who are working to make a difference in their communities every day.

 

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Throwback Thursday: Berea, Ohio Police Department Featured in Article http://paariusa.org/2017/11/17/throwback-thursday-berea-ohio-police-department-featured-article/ http://paariusa.org/2017/11/17/throwback-thursday-berea-ohio-police-department-featured-article/#respond Fri, 17 Nov 2017 16:22:09 +0000 http://paariusa.org/?p=4114 One of P.A.A.R.I.’s law enforcement partners, the Berea Police Department in Ohio, was featured in an article earlier this year for the great work they do to help people get into treatment programs. Patrolman Dave Kammerman is one of the officers assisting people through the department’s Safe Passages program and says that it has changed […]

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One of P.A.A.R.I.’s law enforcement partners, the Berea Police Department in Ohio, was featured in an article earlier this year for the great work they do to help people get into treatment programs. Patrolman Dave Kammerman is one of the officers assisting people through the department’s Safe Passages program and says that it has changed his outlook on life and is the best thing he has ever done as a police officer.
Click here to read the full article.

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P.A.A.R.I.’s Steve Lesnikoski Featured in Globe Profile http://paariusa.org/2017/11/07/p-r-s-steve-lesnikoski-featured-globe-profile/ http://paariusa.org/2017/11/07/p-r-s-steve-lesnikoski-featured-globe-profile/#respond Tue, 07 Nov 2017 18:46:45 +0000 http://paariusa.org/?p=4059 So proud to share this Boston Globe profile on our very own Steve Lesnikoski. Steve was the first participant of the Gloucester Police Department just over two years ago. Now he's working at P.A.A.R.I. and using his inspiring story to help people struggling with addiction.

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P.A.A.R.I. is proud to share this Boston Globe profile on our very own Steve Lesnikoski. Steve was the first participant of the Gloucester Police Department just over two years ago. Now he’s working at P.A.A.R.I. and using his inspiring story to help people struggling with addiction.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/11/06/work-that-matters/YiyoGMhfh4zpkJwaT8Qt5H/story.html

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Letter: Participant in Scarborough’s Operation HOPE Shares Experiences http://paariusa.org/2017/04/05/letter-participant-scarboroughs-operation-hope-shares-experiences/ http://paariusa.org/2017/04/05/letter-participant-scarboroughs-operation-hope-shares-experiences/#respond Wed, 05 Apr 2017 19:01:20 +0000 http://paariusa.org/?p=3358 Below is a letter from a real participant in the Scarborough, Maine Operation HOPE initiative. Since inception, Operation HOPE has placed more than 240 people directly into treatment.

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Below is a letter from a real participant in the Scarborough, Maine Operation HOPE initiative.

Since inception, Operation HOPE has placed more than 240 people directly into treatment.

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Social Worker with Everett Police In Washington Shares Two P.A.A.R.I. Success Stories http://paariusa.org/2016/02/09/social-worker-with-everett-police-in-washington-shares-two-paari-success-stories/ http://paariusa.org/2016/02/09/social-worker-with-everett-police-in-washington-shares-two-paari-success-stories/#respond Tue, 09 Feb 2016 19:57:05 +0000 http://paariusa.org/?p=1606 Lauren Rainbow, an embedded social worker with the Everett Police Department in Washington, shared the story of two P.A.A.R.I. participants who have received treatment through Bella Monte Recovery Center in Desert Hot Springs, Calif. Read their stories here.

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Lauren Rainbow, an embedded social worker with the Everett Police Department in Washington, shared the story of two P.A.A.R.I. participants who have received treatment through Bella Monte Recovery Center in Desert Hot Springs, Calif. Read their stories here.

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True Story: Scarborough Participant Shares His Experience http://paariusa.org/2015/12/24/true-story-scarborough-participant-shares-their-thoughts/ http://paariusa.org/2015/12/24/true-story-scarborough-participant-shares-their-thoughts/#respond Thu, 24 Dec 2015 14:31:52 +0000 http://paariusa.org/?p=1349 Shared by a participant in the Scarborough, Maine Operation HOPE Program “I refuse to be another name in the paper and hope that if this can help people who are dealing with addiction or educate those who don’t understand addiction than I would be thankful. There are many more people out there that need help […]

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Scarborough, Maine Police Department
Scarborough, Maine Police Department
Shared by a participant in the Scarborough, Maine Operation HOPE Program

“I refuse to be another name in the paper and hope that if this can help people who are dealing with addiction or educate those who don’t understand addiction than I would be thankful. There are many more people out there that need help but are afraid to ask for fear of criticism and they’ll continue down the path they believe they deserve because of this fear. People need to be educated not locked up and/or ridiculed. If I can take the necessary steps they can too and if you can please PLEASE encourage your local police department to look into the Scarborough Police Departments Operation Hope program. It saved my life.”

“I can’t speak for everyone but I can tell you that if someone is honest about their recovery then their chances of success will improve dramatically. Both me and my girlfriend went in at the same time and I couldn’t be happier with the way we were treated. They were so kind and genuinely interested in my well-being that I have never felt such relief while talking to a police officer in a long long time. Not once did I get a sideways look or an off-hand comment because of my lifestyle. That alone made the decision to get clean an easier burden to bear and considering the fact that they were vigilant in my placement at a facility for the whole 9 hours I was there with an angel dialing numbers I couldn’t be more gracious. Without insurance it was near impossible to find a place who would take me and foot the bill for my first month or so until my insurance kicked in but once things were sorted out there was nigh a hesitation to book my flight immediately and that wasn’t cheap. I don’t know how many People who have or are going to go through this program are willing to put their name out there in support of this program like I am but if we can be even a small inspiration for People struggling than I’ve achieved another goal of mine next to my success. There’s no cure for addiction but I can tell you that Operation Hope is the best place to start.”

Operation HOPE is a PAARI Program started in the fall under the leadership of Scarborough Police Officer John Gill and Crime Analyst Jaime Higgins. To date, Scarborough Police have placed nearly 100 people in treatment despite existing in a state without detox beds and with a state government that is against providing treatment options for those suffering from the disease of addiction. Are you with a polcie or sheriff’s department? Click here to join us.

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East Bridgewater Reports on Early Results and Successes of PAARI Partnership http://paariusa.org/2015/12/19/east-bridgewater-ends-2015-with-four-successful-community-outreach-drop-in-center-sessions/ http://paariusa.org/2015/12/19/east-bridgewater-ends-2015-with-four-successful-community-outreach-drop-in-center-sessions/#respond Sat, 19 Dec 2015 21:47:13 +0000 http://paariusa.org/?p=1310 EAST BRIDGEWATER — EB HOPE’s Substance Abuse Community Outreach and Intervention Drop-In Center developed to help persons suffering from substance abuse disorders (SUDs), as well as to assist family members or friends of those suffering from SUDs, recently closed out the year having completed the first four of its open-house style 4-hour community outreach sessions. […]

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EAST BRIDGEWATER — EB HOPE’s Substance Abuse Community Outreach and Intervention Drop-In Center developed to help persons suffering from substance abuse disorders (SUDs), as well as to assist family members or friends of those suffering from SUDs, recently closed out the year having completed the first four of its open-house style 4-hour community outreach sessions. The Drop-In Center is held on the first and third Thursdays of each month at the Community Covenant Church, #400 Pleasant Street, East Bridgewater between the hours of 5 p.m. and 9 .pm. http://www.ebhopes.net/outreach.html

The Drop-In Center provides a wide-variety of services, including substance abuse experts, numerous substance abuse organizations in attendance, and support for those suffering from addiction as well as for those who have a loved-one or a close friend who is suffering from addiction. The EB HOPE outreach program is sponsored through the P.A.A.R.I., (Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative).

Click here to read more about East Bridgewater’s efforts.

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Talking “Success Stories” with Everett, Washington http://paariusa.org/2015/12/07/talking-success-stories-with-everett-washington/ http://paariusa.org/2015/12/07/talking-success-stories-with-everett-washington/#respond Mon, 07 Dec 2015 22:17:58 +0000 http://paariusa.org/?p=1232 The City of Everett, Wash. is in the process of creating an addiction outreach program and formalizing a partnership with P.A.A.R.I. Today, the EPD Social Worker, Lauren Rainbow, blogged about an early success story with a person suffering from addiction who came to the police department. We got involved and helped place the person into […]

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DocumentThe City of Everett, Wash. is in the process of creating an addiction outreach program and formalizing a partnership with P.A.A.R.I.

Today, the EPD Social Worker, Lauren Rainbow, blogged about an early success story with a person suffering from addiction who came to the police department. We got involved and helped place the person into one of our partner treatment centers in California.

Read the story here.

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“Today You Saved My Son” – Mom http://paariusa.org/2015/10/02/today-you-saved-my-son-mom/ http://paariusa.org/2015/10/02/today-you-saved-my-son-mom/#comments Fri, 02 Oct 2015 18:50:12 +0000 http://paariusa.org/?p=880 We receive a lot of feedback about our programs, some of it moves us to tears. The following is a letter we received from a mother of a participant.  She has graciously allowed us to share it here. Dear Chief, It was the chief resident of a psychiatric hospital, who weary from my insistence that […]

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We receive a lot of feedback about our programs, some of it moves us to tears. The following is a letter we received from a mother of a participant.  She has graciously allowed us to share it here.

Dear Chief,

It was the chief resident of a psychiatric hospital, who weary from my insistence that my teenage son required more help, said to my husband and me from across the conference table, his bowed head shaking in exasperation, “Why don’t you just get on with your life. You have a good marriage—you’re young enough. You see Leaving Las Vegas? That’s your son. Accept it…forget him. He’s going to end up like the Nicholas Cage character.”

And for a long while, with episodic reprieves, ups and downs, he did end up living like him.

Just this past year, my now 32 year-old son walked into a Methuen, Mass. ER, desperate again for help. He said the heroin was going to kill him. And yes, he’d tried many times before (probably 40-50) and yes, it ‘didn’t work,’ but he was trying again. After the customary hours- upon- hours wait, evaluations, paperwork, questions, waiting, waiting, waiting, he was discharged to the desolate streets at about 4 AM. Sorry, no beds. He screamed, he cried, he begged. He told the hospital staff he’d be dead if they turned him out. They turned him out. But before he walked out, without money, a car, a ride, a phone, or the drugs that he would need before he started the torture of withdrawals, he asked, “May I use your phone?” He dialed 911 and screamed into the phone for help. He said to me later, “What else could I do?” They found a bed.

But these ordeals, the second-class treatment, the de-valuing and humiliation, take a toll. And often, the treatment options are not long enough—or in such poverty-stricken facilities, the depression can eat you alive…so even the streets look better. Too many of the treatment centers he’s been in are akin to homeless shelters or warehouses with the pall of misery and desperation, and the histories of many sufferers before them, the wall paper. It is no wonder recidivism is rampant.

I think also part of the retractableness of this disease is the bone-deep shame. Their own, the public’s, and all too often, that from caregivers. So seeking and obtaining treatment has been so demeaning and shameful–and hard, that it, itself, becomes a prohibitive factor.

My son had a daughter eight years ago. That was the first time he told us it wasn’t ‘just’ drinking. It was heroin. And he signed over his months old daughter to us whom we’ve raised. He and his girlfriend, also a victim of this disease and the mother of his daughter, tried many times to get help. But it was episodic. I have picked them up from alleys, hospitals, police stations, drug dens, and ‘the streets.’ And heartbreakingly and jaw-droppingly frustratingly, all too often the mental health system would refuse my son treatment because he had to ‘get off the drugs,’ first. And while I understand their thinking, if he couldn’t stabilize mentally, he couldn’t do the treatment. And if he couldn’t get off the drugs, he was refused treatment. We were stuck in a vortex of cycles and brick walls—and none of it made sense.

Sometimes when the ‘system,’ just didn’t make sense, the treatment philosophy would turn–sometimes entirely–to the patient. One clinician told me “This is your son’s choice. All of us have choices.” I asked her incredulously, “Do you think he chooses to be homeless? Do you think he chose to be coded in kindergarten and receive supports? Do you think he chose to be an alcoholic at 12?” She nodded her head, “Yes, some people choose to live under a bridge.”

I came to the conclusion a long time ago that the problem isn’t just the disease of addiction; but surely it is that—medicine simply has not caught up to the science of addiction. We clearly see it is no more a choice than color-blindness. But it is also the lack of treatment, education, resources, knowledge. And heart. How does a sufferer have a ‘fighting’ chance under those conditions?

But I marvel at my son’s fortitude—and oh, so many in his shoes, to keep trying. My son never gave up.

In June of this year I happened to see a post on Facebook from a friend I’ve not seen in over 40 years. I texted my son right away—the post said that starting the next day your doors would open to usher victims of addiction to treatment. Guaranteed treatment. My son said it was too good to be true—could I find the catch or the gimmick. So I vetted the post by Googling.

My son was the second person to walk through your program’s doors the day you opened them. My husband and I walked up the steps, into the station, and bore witness to the compassion, kindness, understanding–and value–he was shown.

My son left ‘Las Vegas.’ Because of you. He was cared for and shepherded through the process of accessing treatment by your officers and your angel with dignity. And hope. And heart. He completed his treatment at the detox center then headed to WV where he spent the summer away from the ‘streets’ and in his father’s home.

My son came back to town a couple of weeks ago. He regularly sees his eight-year-old daughter and his five-year-old daughter with whom he and her mother share custody. His former girlfriend, (mother to both), takes part in a methadone clinic. My son has started a new job.

This could have been a very different story. In fact, in my mind I have buried my son hundreds of times. But we, like he, never gave up. We just needed some angel intervention. You. And your officers and angels.

My husband and I full well know that though he is safe now, his journey is lifelong. Addiction is a formidable foe. But, unlike any other time, the specific door he walked through this time, won’t close. Nor will the compassion, kindness and dignity he was so met with, ever stop. Those two factors, I think, may be the pivotal difference. For him and countless others. It occurs to me that by you opening that one door, you opened 100s, one day thousands, more. You have started a revolution. Truly.

As a mother and a citizen, I could drop to my knees in thanks that you went into law enforcement. You have made us all safer. Today, you have saved my son. That badge on your chest is just where it should be – right by your heart.

I thank you with all of mine.

Most, most sincerely,

C.

According to our last conversation with this mother, her son is still sober and we are rooting for him during his recovery. If you’d like to share your story, please email us at info@paariusa.org, with the subject line “STORY”.

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