Over 200 Law Enforcement Leaders Urge Trump Administration Not to Cut Drug Control Program Funding

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

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018

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

Over 200 Law Enforcement Leaders Urge Trump Administration Not to Cut Drug Control Program Funding

P.A.A.R.I. Letter Opposes White House Proposal to Cut ONDCP Budget by 95 Percent

GLOUCESTER — Co-Founder and Co-Chairman John Rosenthal, Co-Chairman Frederick Ryan and Executive Director Allie Hunter McDade announce that the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) sent a letter to White House Adviser Kellyanne Conway urging the Trump administration not to cut the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy’s budget.

For the second time in a year, President Trump has proposed slashing the ONDCP budget almost entirely, and P.A.A.R.I. leaders and law enforcement members are instead encouraging the president to increase funding for the critical programs and initiatives funded by ONDCP. 

Police officers from cities, towns and rural counties are literally on the front lines of this epidemic. We have the unique duty of aiding the victims in the search for quality treatment and recovery while pursuing the dealers and traffickers who profit from misery and death,” the letter reads in part. “No other group of professionals bears this responsibility, and perhaps no organization is as supportive of our efforts as the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) programs.

Opioid overdoses kill 174 Americans every day. The ONDCP is a critical resource upon which law enforcement relies to counter this growing epidemic, which poses a consistent and urgent threat to public health and quality of life nationwide. P.A.A.R.I. warns that the proposed 95 percent cut to ONDCP funding would be a misguided and dangerous move that would carry deadly consequences.

“It was just three months ago that I stood on the stage alongside President Trump as he publicly declared that the opioid epidemic was a top priority for the White House, and my law enforcement colleagues and I sincerely hoped that this declaration would represent a shift in the effort to save lives rather than serve as a purely symbolic gesture,” Co-Chairman and Arlington Police Chief Ryan said. “The proposed cuts to ONDCP’s funding would represent a devastating setback to longstanding efforts to fight the spread of substance abuse, and I strongly urge the administration to reconsider this move.”

ONDCP has been a strong supporter of the work P.A.A.R.I. and its hundreds of law enforcement partners are doing to save lives by diverting those struggling with substance use disorders away from the criminal justice system and into treatment and recovery. 

“Opioids pose a deadly threat to Americans no matter where they live, no matter their socioeconomic background and no matter their political affiliation,” Rosenthal said. “The White House should be directing more resources to ONDCP so that the progress we have made with our partners is not lost along with the lives of potentially thousands more Americans.”

The letter — signed by more than 200 law enforcement leaders from 28 states — notes that ONDCP’s backing of more widespread distribution of the overdose reversal drug naloxone, as well as HIDTA’s sounding of the alarm on fentanyl and carfentanyl, has resulted in countless lives being saved. 

The president has proposed shifting nearly all of ONDCP’s $340 million budget to the Department of Justice, effectively stripping it of its mission to enhance the efforts of local law enforcement to stop the flow of drugs into the country while connecting those caught in the grips of addiction with the resources they need to set out on the path to recovery.

Click here to read the letter.

About P.A.A.R.I.:

The Police Assisted Addiction & Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) is a 501c3 nonprofit with a mission to help law enforcement agencies establish pre-arrest programs that create immediate and stigma-free entry points to treatment and recovery programs. P.A.A.R.I. works across sectors to provide training, coaching, and support; program models, policies and procedures, and templates; seed grants; connections to over 300 vetted treatment centers; a network of like-minded law enforcement agencies; a unified voice with media and legislators; and capacity building through AmeriCorps. P.A.A.R.I. is free to join and open to any law enforcement agency that believes in treatment over arrest and views addiction as a disease not a crime. Since June 2015, P.A.A.R.I. has launched more than 375 law enforcement programs in 32 states, distributed 10,000 4mg doses of life-saving nasal naloxone, and helped over 12,000 people into treatment.

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Ipswich Police Department Partners With P.A.A.R.I. and Lutz Foundation to Add Part-Time Recovery Coach

Ipswich Police Department
Paul A. Nikas, Chief of Police
15 Elm St.
Ipswich, MA 01938

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017

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

Ipswich Police Department Partners With P.A.A.R.I. and Lutz Foundation to Add Part-Time Recovery Coach

Left to right: Ipswich Police Chief Paul Nikas and part-time Recovery Coach Steve Lesnikoski (Photo Courtesy of P.A.A.R.I.)

IPSWICH — Chief Paul A. Nikas is pleased to announce that the Ipswich Police Department has received a grant from the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) through the Evelyn Lilly Lutz Foundation to add a part-time recovery coach to the department’s ranks.

Steve Lesnikoski was the first person to enroll in the Gloucester Police’s groundbreaking ANGEL Program, which directs those battling addiction into treatment rather than the criminal justice system. He will spend each Monday in Ipswich conducting outreach to families and individuals dealing with addiction. He joined the Ipswich Police Department in his new role on Dec. 4.

Lesnikoski will help enhance the Ipswich Police Department’s capacity to assist those suffering from substance use disorders by connecting them to treatment and recovery services that divert them from the criminal justice system. His role with Ipswich Police comes in addition to the work he’s done with other law enforcement agencies in Essex County, where he’s focused on preventing overdose deaths and providing life-saving resources to community members with substance use disorders.

“This is a unique opportunity for us to further connect with the people in our community who need our help the most, and I’m excited about Steve joining us and serving as a huge resource for those who are working to overcome their addiction,” Chief Nikas said. “We’re grateful for the support of P.A.A.R.I. and the Evelyn Lilly Lutz Foundation, and we look forward to the positive impact this program will have in town.”

P.A.A.R.I. partnered with the Lutz Foundation in July on a project meant to expand its outreach and impact in Essex County, placing Lesnikoski with multiple law enforcement agencies, now including the Ipswich Police Department. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 2012 to 2014, an average of 426 people died annually in Essex County due to drug overdoses, with projections for continuing increases indicated in 2015 and 2016. Essex County has a drug overdose mortality rate of two deaths per 10,000 residents, which is higher than both state and national averages.

“Steve Lesnikoski is living proof of the power that police-based addiction and recovery programs have to springboard people into long-term recovery and alter the course of their lives,” said P.A.A.R.I. Executive Director Allie Hunter McDade. “Steve has intimate knowledge of the challenges facing those battling addiction, and he will provide critical guidance to those in the Ipswich community that need support.”

The new partnership with P.A.A.R.I. and the Lutz Foundation bolsters the department’s existing efforts to fight opioid addiction, which include running Operation HOPE (Heroin Opiate Prevention Effort), its active participation in Ipswich AWARE and its ongoing DARE program in Ipswich schools.

About P.A.A.R.I.:

The Police Assisted Addiction & Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) is a 501c3 nonprofit with a mission to help law enforcement agencies establish pre-arrest programs that create immediate and stigma-free entry points to treatment and recovery programs. P.A.A.R.I. works across sectors to provide training, coaching, and support; program models, policies and procedures, and templates; seed grants; connections to over 300 vetted treatment centers; a network of like-minded law enforcement agencies; a unified voice with media and legislators; and capacity building through AmeriCorps. P.A.A.R.I. is free to join and open to any law enforcement agency that believes in treatment over arrest and views addiction as a disease not a crime. Since June 2015, P.A.A.R.I. has launched more than 320 law enforcement programs in 31 states, distributed 10,000 4mg doses of life-saving nasal naloxone, and helped over 12,000 people into treatment.

 

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P.A.A.R.I. Leaders Travel to Washington D.C. for White House Event on the Nationwide Opioid Crisis

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

For Immediate Release

Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017

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

P.A.A.R.I. Leaders Travel to Washington D.C. for White House Event on the Nationwide Opioid Crisis

GLOUCESTER — John Rosenthal, Co-founder and Chairman of the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) is pleased to announce that P.A.A.R.I. leaders will attend a White House event Thursday afternoon on the nationwide opioid crisis. Chief Frederick Ryan (Arlington, Massachusetts Police Department), Chief Matthew Vanyo (Olmsted Township, Ohio Police Department) and Allie Hunter McDade, P.A.A.R.I. Executive Director will join the President and First Lady, cabinet members, members of congress, heads of government agencies, and leaders from around the county to represent for what may be a historic moment in the administration’s response to the nationwide opioid epidemic.

“The opioid epidemic is the most urgent public health and public safety issue we face today, as a country and as law enforcement, killing more than 175 Americans every single day,” Hunter McDade said. “Together, we have put 10,000 4mg doses of life-saving nasal naloxone into the hands of first responders and helped over 12,000 people into treatment. These programs make our communities safer, prevent overdose deaths, build community trust of their police, and save law enforcement and taxpayer funds.”

In August P.A.A.R.I.’s law enforcement members urged the federal government to declare a Public Health Emergency. Declaring a public health emergency is not only a symbolic recognition of the severity and urgency of this crisis, but also will mobilize the highest levels of the government to take immediate and effective action to deploy the resources required to save lives.

“We are hopeful that a declaration of a public health emergency also includes plans for the federal government to stock and deploy massive quantities of 4mg nasal naloxone and make effective treatments for opioid addiction, such as medication-assisted treatment, more available and affordable,” Hunter McDade said.

Recognizing that traditional criminal justice approaches to addiction have not been effective and that the nation cannot arrest its way out of the opioid epidemic, P.A.A.R.I. is leading a nationwide movement led by law enforcement that recognizes addiction is a chronic disease that needs long-term treatment, not arrest and jail. So far, 321 police departments from across the county have joined P.A.A.R.I. and created pre-arrest programs that create immediate and stigma-free entry points to treatment and recovery programs.

Chief Ryan, Chief Vanyo, and Hunter McDade are steadfast in their dedication to supporting people with substance use disorders and amplifying the unified voice of law enforcement in a nonpartisan effort to save lives in light of the mounting opioid epidemic.

P.A.A.R.I.’s law enforcement partners are on the front lines of the opioid epidemic, doing everything they can to grapple with this mounting crisis.  The organization is honored that P.A.A.R.I. representatives were invited to have a seat at the table to share our experiences and educate the administration and lawmakers about the success of P.A.A.R.I.’s approach to saving lives.

“We look forward to attending this afternoon’s event and learning more about how the President will honor his pledge to fight this epidemic and give people struggling with addiction access to the help they need,” Hunter McDade said

About P.A.A.R.I.:

The Police Assisted Addiction & Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) is a 501c3 nonprofit with a mission to help law enforcement agencies establish pre-arrest programs that create immediate and stigma-free entry points to treatment and recovery programs. P.A.A.R.I. works across sectors to provide training, coaching, and support; program models, policies and procedures, and templates; seed grants; connections to over 300 vetted treatment centers; a network of like-minded law enforcement agencies; a unified voice with media and legislators; and capacity building through AmeriCorps. P.A.A.R.I. is free to join and open to any law enforcement agency that believes in treatment over arrest and views addiction as a disease not a crime. Since June 2015, P.A.A.R.I. has launched more than 320 law enforcement programs in 31 states, distributed 10,000 4mg doses of life-saving nasal naloxone, and helped over 12,000 people into treatment.

 

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P.A.A.R.I. to Host Inaugural National Law Enforcement Summit

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

For Immediate Release

Monday, Oct. 16, 2017

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

P.A.A.R.I. to Host Inaugural National Law Enforcement Summit

GLOUCESTER — The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) is pleased to announce it will hold its inaugural National Law Enforcement Summit this December.

This groundbreaking event will connect law enforcement leaders who currently run, or would like to learn more about how to launch, a police-led access to addiction treatment program that helps prevent overdose deaths and steer people suffering with substance use disorders into recovery.

The P.A.A.R.I. Summit, which will be held Dec. 5-6 at the Boston University School of Medicine, will offer a first-of-its-kind look at how law enforcement agencies have successfully provided access to addiction treatment through a renewed approach to the opioid epidemic.

“Our partners have committed to taking an innovative and impactful approach to this nationwide epidemic, and we’re eager to share and discuss our law enforcement based access to treatment programs directly with more law enforcement leaders across the Country,” Arlington Police Chief and P.A.A.R.I. Police Council Chairman Frederick Ryan said. “Our over 320 PAARI law enforcement partner agencies in 31 states have seen tremendous success by providing desperately needed access to opioid addiction treatment, and we’re looking forward to sharing best practices and expanding these life-saving programs through this summit.”

While P.A.A.R.I. law enforcement members are strongly encouraged to attend, registration is now active and open to all members of law enforcement and their guests. Click here to learn more about the event and sign up.

“In just two years, P.A.A.R.I. has completely altered the dialogue on law enforcement’s role in addressing opioid addiction in America,” former White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Director and P.A.A.R.I. Board of Directors member Gil Kerlikowske said. “The National Law Enforcement Summit gives us an opportunity to amplify and add more voices and stakeholders to that conversation, while empowering our police colleagues nationwide to join P.A.A.R.I. and provide police based access to treatment initiatives in their communities.”

P.A.A.R.I. also wishes to thank the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans and the Boston University School of Public Health for their ongoing support and sponsorship of the National Law Enforcement Summit. Others interested in sponsoring the event are encouraged to contact P.A.A.R.I. Executive Director Allie Hunter McDade at allie@paariusa.org.

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