FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
BENTONVILLE, ARK. — Walmart announced last month that it has agreed to a $3.1 billion nationwide opioid settlement framework. The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (PAARI) is excited to be named within the framework as an evidence-informed program that supports pre-arrest diversion and deflection for those with substance use disorder.
“We are extremely grateful that our innovative law enforcement partners, who provide non-arrest access to treatment and recovery, have been recognized as an effective and approved remediation strategy to lessen the horrific and preventable effects of the opioid epidemic,” says John Rosenthal, Co-founder and Chair of the Board at PAARI.
The settlement language encourages public safety and public health partnerships by specifically listing programs such as PAARI and their partners that qualify for funding. Each state has its own internal agreement on how to split the funds between local and state governments. The majority of funds from the settlement must be used for current and future opioid remediation. More information on state funding and approved opioid remediation uses is available here.
“These settlement agreements create a huge opportunity to expand and support models like ours,” said Zoe Grover, Executive Director at PAARI. “We are excited for this new funding opportunity for PAARI and more than 650 law enforcement partners in 40 states across the country.”
The Police Assisted Addiction & Recovery Initiative (PAARI) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to help law enforcement agencies nationwide create non-arrest pathways to treatment and recovery. Founded alongside the groundbreaking Gloucester, Mass., Police Department Angel Initiative in June 2015, PAARI has been a driving force behind this rapidly expanding community policing movement. We provide technical assistance, strategic guidance, connection to training resources, and other capacity-building resources to more than 650 police departments in 40 states.
PAARI works with more than 130 law enforcement agencies in Massachusetts alone. PAARI and our law enforcement partners are working toward a collective vision where non-arrest diversion programs become a standard policing practice across the country, thereby reducing overdose deaths, expanding access to treatment, improving public safety, reducing crime, diverting people away from the criminal justice system, and increasing trust between law enforcement and their communities. Our programs and partners have saved tens of thousands of lives, changed police culture, reshaped the national conversation about the opioid epidemic, and have placed more than 30,000 people into treatment since its founding in June 2015. Learn more at paariusa.org.