Statement of P.A.A.R.I. Founders Leonard Campanello and John Rosenthal in response to Governor Charlie Baker’s Opioid Working Group Report
Leonard Campanello, Co-Founder
John Rosenthal, Co-founder & Chairman
One Bridge St., Suite #300
Newton, MA 02458
For Immediate Release
Monday, June 22, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil, Executive Director
Statement of P.A.A.R.I. Founders Leonard Campanello and John Rosenthal
GLOUCESTER — Police Chief Leonard Campanello, co-founder of The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) issues the following statement in response to Governor Charlie Baker’s Opioid Working Group Report, which was released Monday.
“We applaud the work of the 18-member Working Group and Governor Baker for having the fortitude to accept that a new approach is needed to fight the opioid epidemic.
“Opioid addiction is a public health crisis that is quickly turning into a disaster.
“The key argument behind The Gloucester Initiative and P.A.A.R.I. is that we cannot arrest our way out of a public health issue. I echo Attorney General Maura Healey in stating the addiction must be treated like any other illness. The stigma we currently attach to addiction and to addicts must be removed.”
“I speak for Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, the citizens of Gloucester, the Gloucester Police Department, and the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative when I say that we are honored to be involved in this discussion, and I look forward with a renewed sense of hope that the conversation is finally changing.”
John Rosenthal, Chairman and Co-Founder of P.A.A.R.I. issues the following statement:
“Addiction is a disease, and until we as a society come to terms with this public health issue and accept it for what it is, we cannot hope to fight it on a level playing field.
“On behalf the P.A.A.R.I. board of directors, I applaud Governor Baker and Attorney General Healey for bringing the issue of opioid addiction to the forefront and acknowledging that a new approach is needed. We share this mission in the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative, and I look forward to taking part in the ongoing dialogue.”
The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) was started to support local police departments as they work with opioid addicts. Rather than arrest our way out of the problem of drug addiction, P.A.A.R.I. committed police departments:
- Encourage opioid drug users to seek recovery
- Help distribute life saving opioid blocking drugs to prevent and treat overdoses
- Connect addicts with treatment programs and facilities
- Provide resources to other police departments and communities that want to do more to fight the opioid addiction epidemic
P.A.A.R.I. was created by Gloucester Police Chief Leonard Campanello and John Rosenthal to bridge the gap between the police department and opioid addicts seeking recovery.