P.A.A.R.I. and some of its partners, as well as Co-Chairmen John Rosenthal and Frederick Ryan, were recently featured in Politico Magazine for their work reinventing law enforcement’s role in responding to the nationwide opioid crisis.
— ONDCP (@ONDCP) June 4, 2018
The story highlights the work being done by Plymouth Police through Plymouth County Outreach, as well as in Arlington to reach out directly to overdose victims and their families in order to connect them with life changing recovery options.
It also highlights the beginnings of P.A.A.R.I., which was founded in the wake of the immense success Gloucester Police found when they opened their doors to those suffering from substance abuse disorders and forever changed the role of police in fighting the opioid abuse:
Three years later, the unique approach to combating the opioid epidemic has evolved into a national program called Police-Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative, or PAARI, a partnership of 390 police departments that has helped 12,000 people get into drug treatment. Some members, like Gloucester, have opened their police stations as safe spaces for the addicted. Others, like Plymouth, follow a variation created in Arlington, Mass., a Boston suburb, in which officers and addiction counselors reach out to recent overdose victims instead of waiting for addicts to come to them.
While PAARI started in small cities, it is now getting attention from cities with much larger populations and significantly more overdoses. The biggest partner is Macomb County, Michigan, made up of 27 suburbs of Detroit with a combined population of 860,000 and the second-highest rate of opioid overdose deaths in the state—more than twice the national average. Officials there tweaked the Gloucester model, using 250 “angel” volunteers so the police don’t have to arrange the treatment themselves. Phoenix started a program in one of its police stations. Salt Lake City launched a program on the troubled street across from its homeless shelter. Boston just kicked off an effort in which police officers in certain neighborhoods give out cards with the names of treatment advocates PAARI has hired through AmeriCorps.
To read the whole story, “The Police Aren’t Just Getting You In Trouble. They Actually Care” click here.