The Bath and Brunswick Police Departments have been chosen to join 19 other police departments in Maine and Massachusetts participating in the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative’s (PAARI) One2One: Engagement to Recovery program.
Piloted in the spring and summer of 2020, the One2One: Engagement to Recovery program empowers police officers and community partners to distribute fentanyl test strip (FTS) kits to those in need, as well as provide referrals to treatment and information about other resources available to those who use drugs and their loved ones. One2One is a pilot-tested, evidence-based, police-led intervention project across Massachusetts and Maine that seeks to increase engagement in substance use related services and supports among people using stimulants and opioids who are at risk of fatal overdose. During the pilot program, which was funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, every one fentanyl test strip kit that was distributed led to one referral to treatment or other services.
The Bath and Brunswick Police Departments officially joined the program on Wednesday, March 10. Both departments were trained on Monday, March 29 to implement the program in their departments Thursday, April 1.
“Addiction is a terrible disease that affects not only individuals and their families, but whole communities as well,” said Chief Stewart. “We are committed to tackling this problem and are grateful to PAARI for providing us resources to do just that. This partnership will provide people suffering from addiction the services they need to work towards recovery.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 36,000 people died from overdoses including synthetic opioids in 2019.
Nearly half of all drug overdose deaths in the U.S are associated with illicitly manufactured fentanyl, which is now used alone and found in heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and counterfeit opioid pills. New England is particularly hard-hit by illicit fentanyl, which is highly potent and thus prone to cause accidental overdose. Research has shown that FTS is a feasible, useful tool linked to increased self-efficacy and important safety and drug use behavior changes.
Through the One2One program, PAARI will provide up to 300 kits for each participating police department, as well as training and technical assistance for officers and community partners on how to distribute the FTS kits and utilize the kits to build rapport and make referrals to services.
“Both of our departments currently participate in the Maine OPTIONS (Overdose Prevention Through Intensive Outreach, Naloxone and Safety) Initiative,” said Chief Field. “This additional tool will enhance our efforts to fight the opiate crisis and help those in need. If we can prevent one overdose death, then this program is well worth it. We are deeply appreciative of the guidance, education and materials PAARI is connecting us to through this effort.”
If you or a loved one is in need of assistance, or if you’d like to request a kit with three fentanyl test strips, which can be mailed, dropped off, or picked up at the station, please contact:
Bath Police Department Det. Mark Steele at 207-443-5563 and/or email@example.com
Brunswick Police Department Det. Jerod Verrill at 207-721-4333 and/or firstname.lastname@example.org
Members of the community are also reminded to always call 911 in an emergency.
The PAARI One2One initiative is in partnership with research partners Brandeis University and funded by Washington/Baltimore HIDTA, the University of Baltimore and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Combating Opioid Overdose funded through Community-Level Intervention (COOCLI) program. For more information about the One2One program, visit paariusa.org/one2one