Woburn District Court H.E.A.T. Program Addresses Substance Abuse at 12th Annual Conference

Woburn Police Department

Woburn Police Department
Chief Robert J. Ferullo Jr
25 Harrison Ave.
Woburn, MA 01801

For Immediate Release

Monday, June 18, 2018

Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-0003
Email: john@jgpr.net

Woburn District Court H.E.A.T. Program Addresses Substance Abuse at 12th Annual  Conference

WOBURN — Hundreds of leaders in public health and law enforcement came together last week for the 12th Annual Woburn District Court Heroin Education Awareness Task Force (H.E.A.T.) Conference to discuss the latest trends and treatment surrounding substance abuse.

On Friday, June 15, attendees gathered at the Hilton Boston/Woburn to learn more about drug use and ways to assist those struggling with addiction. The half-day meeting consisted of experts speaking about substance abuse treatment, prevention and enforcement.

The H.E.A.T. program was founded by Vincent J. Piro and Michael P. Higgins, of the probation department of Woburn District Court, the police departments of the seven cities and towns under its jurisdiction: Woburn, Burlington, North Reading, Reading, Stoneham, Wilmington and Winchester, the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services and the AdCare Educational Institute. The program is designed to educate the public, especially families and friends of those suffering from addiction, about heroin use and abuse trends among young people.

“To all the presenters and attendees who joined us for the 12th annual conference, thank you for making this year a success,” Piro said. “Every year, the Woburn District Court and our partner agencies work to provide life saving resources to those in need, and it is through these collaborations that we have been successful.”

Over the last few years, overdose deaths have exceeded motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. More than a decade ago, H.E.A.T. recognized the growing problem between painkiller abuse and heroin use, and every year works to call attention to deadly synthetic substances in an effort to prevent addiction and deaths.

“The H.E.A.T. program has been at the forefront of these issues for almost 13 years,” Woburn Police Chief Robert Ferullo said. “It is the belief of leaders at Friday’s conference that we must collaborate across agencies to provide education to the public on prevention, treatment for those struggling with addiction, and enforcement of the laws to make a difference in the opioid crisis.”

To open the conference, Stephen Wood from Winchester Hospital spoke about the rise in popularity of vaping, new substances that are being taken for recreational use (everything from Morning Glory flower seeds to “Flakka” — a synthetic cathinone that causes a number of symptoms like hallucinations and violent behavior) and potential warning signs that a loved one may be using drugs.

Britte McBride, Commissioner of Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission, informed attendees about the provisions and regulations that will be in place for the marijuana industry once legalized sales go into effect on July 1, including mandated advertisements to educate consumers and promote safe use of products, stringent security protocols at establishments and testing of products before they go onto the market.

Billerica Town Manager John Curran shared his experience with the opioid crisis from a municipal level, using a proactive and reactive approach, while Tewksbury Police Chief Timothy Sheehan spoke about the change in perspective that law enforcement must take to address the opioid epidemic.

“We found that we couldn’t arrest our way out of the problem,” Chief Sheehan said. “We were really failing by not going deeper into the issue, and instead just going through the judicial system.”

In Tewksbury, the mentality of solely relying on enforcement has been altered and officials are looking at education, collaboration with local agencies and counseling/treatment to address the root of the issue. Additionally, all officers carry Narcan, an opioid reversal drug, to save the lives of those who are overdosing.

Michael McLaughlin and Pierce Aliberti, of Stoneham, closed the conference by sharing their experiences and journeys to recovery, thanking those who helped them along the way with resources and support.

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Woburn District Court H.E.A.T. Program to Hold 12th Annual Conference

Woburn Police Department

Woburn Police Department
Chief Robert J. Ferullo Jr
25 Harrison Ave.
Woburn, MA 01801

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-0003
Email: john@jgpr.net

Woburn District Court H.E.A.T. Program to Hold 12th Annual Conference

WOBURN — Leaders in law enforcement and healthcare will come together this week to discuss the latest information on prevention, education and treatment of substance abuse at the 12th Annual Woburn District Court Heroin Education Awareness Task Force (H.E.A.T.) Conference.

WHEN: 

Friday, June 15, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

WHERE:

Hilton Boston/Woburn, 2 Forbes Road, Woburn

WHO:

  • Stephen P. Wood, Acute Care Nurse, Emergency Department, Winchester Hospital will discuss Lahey Emergency Room current trends and vaping.
  • Michael Higgins, H.E.A.T Program Coordinator and Substance Abuse Coordinator, Billerica Town Hall will discuss his continued efforts in networking education and treatment and partnerships in the community.
  • Britte McBride, Commissioner of Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission, will discuss the new marijuana and THC Legislation and Laws.
  • Jennifer Faretra, Senior Program Director, Lahey Behavioral Health Services, will discuss the overview of detoxification.
  • Chief Timothy B. Sheehan from the Tewksbury Police Department will discuss the importance of community collaboration.
  • Michael McLaughlin, an addict in recovery, will discuss the path to recovery.
  • Pierce Aliberti will discuss the incredible efforts of youth in recovery.

WHAT: 

The 12th annual H.E.A.T. Conference is a gathering of professionals who will discuss how to best tackle the opioid crisis. The half-day meeting will consist of experts speaking on substance abuse treatment, prevention and enforcement.

Each year, the group comes together for its annual conference, but works tirelessly throughout the rest of the year to carry out its mission. The program is designed to educate the public, especially families and friends of those suffering from addiction, about heroin use and abuse trends among young people.

The H.E.A.T. program was founded by Vincent J. Piro and Michael P. Higgins, of the probation department of Woburn District Court and the police departments of the seven cities and towns under its jurisdiction. This includes Woburn, Burlington, North Reading, Reading, Stoneham, Wilmington and Winchester.

H.E.A.T. is sponsored by Woburn District Court, the seven police departments served by the court, the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services and AdCare Educational Institute.

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Five P.A.A.R.I. Recovery Coaches Join Boston Police Department through AmeriCorps Program

PAARI_Logo_PUB_052815-06

P.A.A.R.I.
John Rosenthal, Co-founder & Chairman
Frederick Ryan, Co-Chairman
186 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930

For Immediate Release

Monday, June 11, 2018

Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-0003
Email: john@jgpr.net

Five P.A.A.R.I. Recovery Coaches Join Boston Police Department through AmeriCorps Program

GLOUCESTER — Executive Director Allie Hunter McDade is pleased to announce that five Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) recovery coaches have been sworn in as AmeriCorps members to contribute to the Boston Police Department’s addiction and recovery efforts.

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh held an official swearing in of P.A.A.R.I.’s Anita Cunha, Steve Jutras, Tyshaun Perryman, Ursel Hughes and Cheryl Molloy-Emerson as part of the 86th annual meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors on Sunday, June 10. The ceremony marked Mayor Walsh’s first time swearing in a group of AmeriCorps members.

“I’m grateful for the P.A.A.R.I. recovery coaches, who will work closely with our police officers, to fight the opioid epidemic by enhancing direct outreach and getting more people into treatment and on the road to recovery,” Mayor Walsh said. “All of us have a role to play in addressing the opioid epidemic, and as our first responders are on the front lines of answering the call for help, it’s our responsibility to ensure they are equipped with the tools and resources to best support those in need of care. This partnership with P.A.A.R.I. and AmeriCorps will strengthen our work as we continue to implement solutions that will make a real difference.”

During the meeting, where mayors from around the country were in attendance, the P.A.A.R.I.-AmeriCorps program was highlighted as a best practice. The program places members into service at host police department sites across Massachusetts to assist with municipal police-led addiction and recovery programs in direct response to the growing opioid epidemic.

“The opioid epidemic is the most pressing public health and public safety issue affecting our communities, with an estimated 174 fatal overdoses every single day,” Hunter McDade said during the U.S. Conference of Mayors. “So both at the local and federal level, there is an emphasis on leveraging national service programs, such as AmeriCorps, to address it.”

P.A.A.R.I. currently has a team of 22 members who are serving 53 communities across Massachusetts where they help build the capacity of law enforcement programs, prevent overdose deaths, and provide vital resources to community members with substance use disorders and their loved ones. Since October 2017, the team of P.A.A.R.I-AmeriCorps members have provided support to 3,057 unique individuals affected by a substance use disorder.

P.A.A.R.I. Co-founder John Rosenthal, who attended the ceremony and meeting, stressed the importance of communities implementing a pre-arrest program to assist those struggling with addiction while also working with volunteer organizations like AmeriCorps to provide related services to those in need.

“Thank you Mayor Marty Walsh for making the opioid epidemic a priority and for demonstrating your commitment by highlighting our partnership today,” Rosenthal said Sunday.

With the Boston Police Department, P.A.A.R.I.’s five recovery coaches will:

  • Assist individuals struggling with substance use disorders as they make referrals to treatment, navigate and remove barriers to recovery support services, and provide hope, optimism and encouragement.
  • Connect community members with substance use disorders, or those who have loved ones struggling with addiction, to recovery services.
  • Work across city agencies — like the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Services, Boston public libraries and the Boston Public Health Commission — as well as treatment providers, hospitals, neighborhood associations and organizations providing related services to assist those affected by opioid addiction.
  • Travel to neighborhoods where residents have less access to recovery services. All of the recovery coaches are personally in recovery and have direct experience navigating local treatment and recovery supports.

“We are so proud to partner with P.A.A.R.I. on this innovative, groundbreaking AmeriCorps program,” said Emily Haber, CEO of the Massachusetts Service Alliance, which provides funding to the project. “P.A.A.R.I.-AmeriCorps is a strong model for engaging the power of national service to address the devastating opioid crisis in Massachusetts and across the nation.”

The five P.A.A.R.I AmeriCorps members join more than 1,200 AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members combating the opioid epidemic in more than 150 communities across 45 states. This is thanks to support from the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that oversees these national service programs.

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Arlington Police Chief Co-Authors National “10 Standards of Care” for Police Responding to Opioid Crisis

Arlington Police Department
Frederick Ryan, Chief of Police
112 Mystic St.
Arlington, MA 02474

For Immediate Release

Friday, June 1, 2018

Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-0003
Email: john@jgpr.net

Arlington Police Chief Co-Authors National “10 Standards of Care” for Police Responding to Opioid Crisis

Chief Ryan One of Three Police Chiefs to Participate in Historic National Summit on Addiction Policy with Johns Hopkins University

ARLINGTON — Police Chief Frederick Ryan is proud to announce the release of a groundbreaking document aimed at guiding the actions and policies of police departments nationwide that are scrambling to respond to the opioid crisis. The work comes after a historic gathering of municipal police chiefs, policymakers and academic leaders from Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Now, the proven strategies employed by the nationally-modeled Arlington Outreach Initiative are being melded with efforts in Vermont and West Virginia in a Johns Hopkins publication entitled “Ten Standards of Care: Policing and The Opioid Crisis.”

In the publication, Chief Ryan, along with Burlington, Vermont Police Chief Brandon Del Pozo, Morgantown, West Virginia Police Chief Edward Preston argue for a significant shift in the approach taken by municipal police departments.

“Law enforcement officers are on the front lines of addressing this nationwide crisis. They are often the first to arrive on the scene of an overdose. They encounter and respond to the consequences of addiction every day. They see the toll the crisis is taking on communities, and they have a critical role to play in influencing how communities address it,” said the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg American Health Initiative in a statement accompanying the document’s release Thursday.

For Chief Ryan, who has testified before Congress and has sat around the table with the past two presidential administrations and the U.S. Surgeon General, the “Ten Standards of Care” lends national academic credence to an evolving set of policies  that police departments have rapidly begun to employ. These procedures have become all the more important in recent years, as overdoses now exceed motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in the United States.

“The opioid epidemic, especially with the dramatic and unprecedented rise in synthetic drugs like Fentanyl, represents one of the most significant public health emergencies in a generation. This cannot be solved by arresting and incarcerating more people. As police officers, we are often the first on scene and are being called upon to do something as more and more Americans die every day,” Chief Ryan said. “We did not ask for this responsibility, and we must open our minds to new, research-backed methods. The opioid crisis is, itself, the evolution of a longstanding drug addiction and mental health problem in our society, and those of us in the law enforcement community must evolve our methods to tackle it.”

In addition to the Arlington Opiate Outreach Initiative and other municipal programs, the document recognizes The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) as a promising approach that has been adapted by hundreds of police departments across the country. Chief Ryan is a founding member and co-chairman of P.A.A.R.I., and he chairs its Police Council. 

The “Ten Standards of Care” was co-authored by the chiefs and Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Former Office of National Drug Control Policy Directors Gil Kerlikowske and Michael Botticelli, and six members of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. It is the product of a historic meeting of chiefs, veteran policymakers and academic leaders on May 3-4 at the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) headquarters in Washington, D.C. The document contains consensus best practices for police departments responding to the opioid crisis.

Working together, the group developed these 10 standards of care to serve as a guide for police departments and other law enforcement agencies trying to grapple with this crisis. They are:

1. Focus on overdose deaths. Just as homicide is the leading indicator for violence, the standard of care for police departments should be to work with public health agencies toward the goal of reducing overdose deaths. This can be done by using data-driven approaches and rigorous research to drive strategies and measure effectiveness.

2. Use naloxone. Nasal Narcan saves thousands of lives each year. To reverse otherwise fatal overdoses, the standard of care for departments should be to equip and train officers in the use of naloxone.

3. Educate on addiction and stigma. As respected and influential voices in their communities, police and health departments should work together to support training and public education on addiction to dispel the stigma on people with substance use disorders. Within police departments, the standard of care should be for this training to be part of the naloxone program.

4. Refer to treatment. To save lives from overdose, address opioid addiction and reduce recidivism, the standard of care should be for departments to equip, train and recognize officers for helping people in need access effective treatment that offers all three FDA-approved medications.

5. Advocate for “on demand” treatment access. To save lives from overdose, address opioid addiction and reduce recidivism, the standard of care should be for departments to advocate for “on-demand” access to addiction treatment that offers all three FDA-approved medications.

6. Advocate for treatment for those who are incarcerated or under community supervision. To save lives from overdose, address opioid addiction and reduce recidivism, the standard of care should be for departments to advocate for access to effective treatment that offers all three FDA-approved medications for individuals in jail, in prison and under community supervision with the appropriate transition to continuing care.

7. Prevent outbreaks. To reduce HIV and hepatitis outbreaks, protect officer health and help individuals reach treatment, the standard of care should be for departments to collaborate with public health and community-based agencies to support well-managed syringe service programs.

8. Consider fentanyl detection. To prevent death due to fentanyl and its analogues, the standard of care should be for departments to explore efforts with public health and community partners to help individuals detect the presence of fentanyl in their drugs.

9. Explore innovation. The standard of care should be for departments to explore, with their public health, law enforcement and community partners, the evidence on the efficacy of supervised consumption spaces to connect people to treatment and reduce overdoses.

10. Support Good Samaritan laws. To facilitate an effective and broad response to the opioid epidemic, the standard of care should be for departments to work to make sure that Good Samaritan laws are understood and implemented consistent with the spirit and intent of the legislation.

Click here to download the document in LONG or SHORT form.

About the Arlington Opiate Outreach Initiative:

In July 2015, Chief Frederick Ryan and the Arlington Police Department outlined a new strategy for police officers to get directly involved in the demand side of the heroin and opiate crisis by working with a public health clinician to conduct direct outreach to the known substance user community and their families, friends and caregivers. This program is called the Arlington Opiate Outreach Initiative. Read more here and here.

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