John Rosenthal, Co-founder & Chairman
186 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930
For Immediate Release
Thursday, July 27, 2017
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
P.A.A.R.I. Law Enforcement Leaders Urge Congress to Forego Medicaid Cuts
GLOUCESTER — John Rosenthal, Co-founder and Chairman of the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.), announces that P.A.A.R.I.’s National Police Council has once again sent a letter to members of Congress stressing the importance of maintaining health insurance coverage for opioid addiction treatment.
The letter, signed by 130 law enforcement members from across the country (and counting), was initially sent as the new administration took office in January and was re-distributed today as lawmakers continue to consider potential changes in healthcare. (If you cannot click the link above, copy and paste the following into your browser: http://jgpr.net/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2017/01/new-paari-letter.pdf).
With drug overdose deaths now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, exceeding even motor vehicle accidents, the need for access to mental illness and addiction-related care is more imperative than ever.
“The opioid epidemic is the most urgent public health and public safety issue we face today, as a country and as law enforcement,” the council wrote. “As any health policy change is considered in Congress, we respectfully urge you to stand with law enforcement and vote ‘no’ on any legislation that makes it harder for police departments like ours to prevent overdose deaths and protect our citizens.”
Through P.A.A.R.I., officers create entry points to treatment and recovery programs for people with substance use disorders
“Our lawmakers should remember that Medicaid matters because it is such an essential piece of our mission to prioritize treatment over incarceration,” said Arlington Police Chief Frederick Ryan, chairman of the Police Council. “P.A.A.R.I. was created for this very reason — to support police departments nationwide that recognize that addiction is a disease that can be overcome through a commitment to treatment.”
In just two years, P.A.A.R.I. has grown into a network of more than 250 police departments in 30 states, and works with over 300 treatment centers to secure fully-funded scholarships for participants with or without insurance.
Police and law enforcement officials who would like to sign the letter can do so here. (Or paste: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeq0m7LZGHbQeS_VSZrKJTvwCut-9ZsHbeL6xh4TBo-NIZgBg/viewform?c=0&w=1 )
P.A.A.R.I. also encourages police and law enforcement officials to call their elected officials directly to state their support. You can find your representative here.
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.