Macomb County Police Departments Introduce New Program To Help Opioid Addicts

MACOMB TOWNSHIP, MI — Macomb County police departments are experimenting with a new way to fight the county's explosive opioid epidemic. Instead of so-called 'arresting away' drug addiction sufferers, beginning Feb. 1, Macomb County police departments will invite anyone battling an addiction to walk right into their station to get help for treatment, according to a press release.

The new policy is officially called the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I), and it was created by the Gloucester, Massachusetts police department in 2015. Here's how it works. If you're battling an opioid addiction, you walk into any county police station and you'll be paired with an Angel volunteer, who will help place you into a treatment/recovery program.

John Rosenthal, Co-founder and Chairman of P.A.A.R.I, said in a statement, "Now, residents struggling with the disease of addiction will be able to walk into any police department in Michigan's largest county and receive access to treatment. Macomb County is the latest example of how law enforcement agencies across the country are leading the way in providing access to opioid addiction treatment."

P.A.A.R.I. is providing free doses of 4 mg nasal Narcan to Macomb County police departments and the Sheriff's Office to help launch the initiative. And as members of P.A.A.R.I., Macomb County police now have access to a nationwide network of treatment centers to offer program participants. Macomb County police will also work with Families Against Narcotics (FAN) to help people suffering from addiction.

If you'd like to learn more P.A.A.R.I, click here.

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