The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative Survival Kits have been delivered to Essex, Middlesex and Suffolk County Sheriff’s Departments and will begin to be distributed today, March 25.
P.A.A.R.I. announced Monday that it had partnered with the Office Based Addiction Treatment Program at Boston Medical Center, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Healthy Streets and AHOPE of Boston Public Health Commission, and three Massachusetts Sheriff’s Departments to launch a Survival Kit program to reduce the risk of overdose for those released from jails in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ 2016 Chapter 55 Opioid Report found that the rate for fatal opioid overdoses among those recently released from incarceration is 120 times higher than it is for the rest of the adult population. Those being released from incarceration who also have substance use disorder may also be at a greater risk for serious complications from COVID-19, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, because the virus attacks the respiratory system.
Executive Director Allie Hunter explains what is in the Survival Kits: