P.A.A.R.I. Partnering with MSP to Host Drug Take Back and Educational Event in Recognition of DEA National Initiative

BOSTON — Executive Director Allie Hunter and Co-Founder and Board Chair John Rosenthal of the Police Assisted Addiction & Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) along with Massachusetts State Police Colonel Christopher Mason would like to invite the public as they collaborate to host a drug take back and educational event in recognition of National Drug Take Back Day.

“Millions of lives and families are changed forever each year due to the misuse of prescription Opioids and other medications. In fact, 80 percent of people struggling with substance use disorder start with misusing overprescribed opioids. We are pleased to collaborate with our partners at the Massachusetts State Police to provide education and life-saving resources to individuals and communities throughout the Commonwealth,” Rosenthal said. “The battle against opioid and all substance use addiction impacts the whole community, and we invite everyone to join us.”

WHEN:

Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

WHERE: 

Massachusetts State Police, Holden Barracks, 612 Main St, Holden, MA.

WHAT: 

The Police Assisted Addiction & Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) and the Massachusetts State Police Community Liaison Team are collaborating for the first time to host a drug take back event to accept unwanted drugs and medications. The event will also include distribution of the overdose-reversing medication NARCAN, training on how to properly use it, and a variety of educational materials regarding community treatment and recovery resources. 

“We know all too well the tragic toll that opioid use takes on people and families; we see the heartbreaking results every day,” said Colonel Mason. “We also see first-hand the consequences that illegal drug use takes on our communities and our neighborhoods, in terms of the human cost, as well as the violence and quality-of-life problems that go hand in hand with the drug trade. We wholeheartedly embrace, and are happy to partner, in this critical effort to remove surplus and unnecessary drugs from homes to ensure that those drugs are not misused and do not lead to harm to loved ones and the community at large.”

“Overdose deaths are at an all-time high in our communities, and disposing of unwanted, unused or expired medications is a great way to help address this critical public safety and public health issue,” said Executive Director Hunter. “We are excited to partner with Massachusetts State Police to create a stigma-free way to dispose of medications and provide free life-saving training and resources to prevent overdoses.”

For more information on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s National Drug Take Back Days, click here.

About the Massachusetts State Police Community Liaison Team

The Massachusetts State Police Community Liaison Team is a specialized unit of Troopers formed earlier this year that works to strengthen partnerships between Massachusetts State Police and the cities, towns and neighborhoods police work in across the Commonwealth. Troopers assigned to regional teams attend a wide range of community and civic events as they strive to enhance the strength of Community and police partnership, through open-dialogue and transparency, to ensure safety, inclusion, and equity for all citizens. For more information on working with the Community Liaison Team, email: MSPcommunityconnect@pol.state.ma.us.

About P.A.A.R.I.

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 660 police departments in 39 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 30,000 people into treatment since its founding in June 2015. Learn more at paariusa.org.

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