IPSWICH — Chief Paul Nikas is pleased to announce that the Ipswich Police Department has been chosen to participate in the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative’s (P.A.A.R.I.) One2One: Engagement to Recovery program.
Piloted in the spring and summer of 2020, the One2One: Engagement to Recovery program empowers police officers and community partners to distribute fentanyl test strip (FTS) kits to those in need, as well as provide referrals to treatment and information about other resources available to those who use drugs and their loved ones. One2One is a pilot-tested, evidence-based, police-led intervention project across Massachusetts and Maine that seeks to increase engagement in substance use related services and supports among people using stimulants and opioids who are at risk of fatal overdose. During the pilot program, which was funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, every one fentanyl test strip kit that was distributed led to one referral to treatment or other services.
The initiative is in partnership with research partners Brandeis University and funded by Washington/Baltimore HIDTA, the University of Baltimore and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Combating Opioid Overdose funded through Community-Level Intervention (COOCLI) program. Participating departments were trained on Feb. 26 and began program implementation on March 1.
For information about the One2One program, including three newly launched training videos, visit paariusa.org/one2one.
“Programs like this save lives. Being able to distribute these kits and connect people with local resources and support is life changing, and we’re very appreciative to be working with P.A.A.R.I. on this initiative,” Chief Nikas said. “The opioid epidemic is still a serious concern and we’re deeply committed as a department to providing resources and support to members of our community struggling with substance use.”
According to recent provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were over 81,00 drug overdose deaths in the United States in the 12 months ending in May 2020, which is the highest number of overdose deaths ever recorded in a 12-month period. Synthetic opioids (primarily fentanyl) are the primary driver of the increases in overdose deaths, increasing 38.4 percent from the 12-month period leading up to June 2019 compared with the 12-month period leading up to May 2020.
Through the One2One program, P.A.A.R.I. will provide up to 300 kits for each participating police department, as well as training and technical assistance for officers and community partners on how to distribute the FTS kits and utilize the kits to build rapport and make referrals to services.
“We are excited to partner with the Ipswich Police Department to help support those with substance use disorder and prevent overdoses,” P.A.A.R.I. Executive Director Allie Hunter said. “They’ve shown a great commitment to creating increased access to resources and programs for treatment and recovery, and this program will help to further that work.”
Sgt. Dan Kmiec oversees the Ipswich Police Department’s Community Outreach Team, members of which have received specialized training on calls for service pertaining to substance use disorder and mental health. The team conducts follow-up visits with a civilian recovery coach and/or a mental health counselor following such calls. Sgt. Kmiec can be reached at [email protected]
To learn more about the One2One program, visit P.A.A.R.I.’s website by clicking here.
The Police Assisted Addiction & Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) 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, P.A.A.R.I. has been a driving force behind this rapidly expanding community policing movement. We provide technical assistance, coaching, grants, and other capacity-building resources to more than 600 police departments in 35 states. We currently work with more than 130 law enforcement agencies in Massachusetts alone. P.A.A.R.I. and our law enforcement partners are working towards 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 thousands of lives, changed police culture, reshaped the national conversation about the opioid epidemic and have placed over 24,000 people into treatment since its founding in June 2015. Learn more at paariusa.org.