John Rosenthal, Co-founder & Chairman
186 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930
For Immediate Release
Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
P.A.A.R.I. Leaders Travel to Washington D.C. for White House Event on the Nationwide Opioid Crisis
GLOUCESTER — John Rosenthal, Co-founder and Chairman of the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) is pleased to announce that P.A.A.R.I. leaders will attend a White House event Thursday afternoon on the nationwide opioid crisis. Chief Frederick Ryan (Arlington, Massachusetts Police Department), Chief Matthew Vanyo (Olmsted Township, Ohio Police Department) and Allie Hunter McDade, P.A.A.R.I. Executive Director will join the President and First Lady, cabinet members, members of congress, heads of government agencies, and leaders from around the county to represent for what may be a historic moment in the administration’s response to the nationwide opioid epidemic.
“The opioid epidemic is the most urgent public health and public safety issue we face today, as a country and as law enforcement, killing more than 175 Americans every single day,” Hunter McDade said. “Together, we have put 10,000 4mg doses of life-saving nasal naloxone into the hands of first responders and helped over 12,000 people into treatment. These programs make our communities safer, prevent overdose deaths, build community trust of their police, and save law enforcement and taxpayer funds.”
In August P.A.A.R.I.’s law enforcement members urged the federal government to declare a Public Health Emergency. Declaring a public health emergency is not only a symbolic recognition of the severity and urgency of this crisis, but also will mobilize the highest levels of the government to take immediate and effective action to deploy the resources required to save lives.
“We are hopeful that a declaration of a public health emergency also includes plans for the federal government to stock and deploy massive quantities of 4mg nasal naloxone and make effective treatments for opioid addiction, such as medication-assisted treatment, more available and affordable,” Hunter McDade said.
Recognizing that traditional criminal justice approaches to addiction have not been effective and that the nation cannot arrest its way out of the opioid epidemic, P.A.A.R.I. is leading a nationwide movement led by law enforcement that recognizes addiction is a chronic disease that needs long-term treatment, not arrest and jail. So far, 321 police departments from across the county have joined P.A.A.R.I. and created pre-arrest programs that create immediate and stigma-free entry points to treatment and recovery programs.
Chief Ryan, Chief Vanyo, and Hunter McDade are steadfast in their dedication to supporting people with substance use disorders and amplifying the unified voice of law enforcement in a nonpartisan effort to save lives in light of the mounting opioid epidemic.
P.A.A.R.I.’s law enforcement partners are on the front lines of the opioid epidemic, doing everything they can to grapple with this mounting crisis. The organization is honored that P.A.A.R.I. representatives were invited to have a seat at the table to share our experiences and educate the administration and lawmakers about the success of P.A.A.R.I.’s approach to saving lives.
“We look forward to attending this afternoon’s event and learning more about how the President will honor his pledge to fight this epidemic and give people struggling with addiction access to the help they need,” Hunter McDade said
The Police Assisted Addiction & Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) is a 501c3 nonprofit with a mission to help law enforcement agencies establish pre-arrest programs that create immediate and stigma-free entry points to treatment and recovery programs. P.A.A.R.I. works across sectors to provide training, coaching, and support; program models, policies and procedures, and templates; seed grants; connections to over 300 vetted treatment centers; a network of like-minded law enforcement agencies; a unified voice with media and legislators; and capacity building through AmeriCorps. P.A.A.R.I. is free to join and open to any law enforcement agency that believes in treatment over arrest and views addiction as a disease not a crime. Since June 2015, P.A.A.R.I. has launched more than 320 law enforcement programs in 31 states, distributed 10,000 4mg doses of life-saving nasal naloxone, and helped over 12,000 people into treatment.