ARLINGTON — Chief Frederick Ryan announces that the Arlington Police Department has released details, including an action plan and implementation guidelines for its new drug addiction program, The Arlington Outreach Initiative.
Click here to download the program materials.
Earlier this month, the Arlington Police Department announced that it had teamed up with a public health clinician to reach out to drug addicts, previous overdose patients and their families. The goal of the Initiative is to educate families, help provide and teach the administration of potentially lifesaving nasal Narcan and to make addicts and their families, friends and caregivers aware of treatment options and resources available to them.
“We know we need to alter the way we respond to addiction in our community,” Chief Ryan said. “With this plan of action, we have established a clear plan that will guide this department in helping addicts receive the information and treatment they need to recover.”
Today, Arlington Police are moving forward with the community-based strategy, which has two major components.
1. Proactive outreach to known addicts – The department’s health clinician will reach out to addicts to support them in developing a plan to ensure their survival, to facilitate the long-term process of recovery and to guide addicts and their loved ones to services.
2. Arlington Community Training and Support (Arlington ACTS) – Arlington will host a series of town-based meetings, co-facilitated by the police department’s clinician and a community substance abuse intervention expert, in a supportive, non-judgmental environment for addicts and their families. Attendees will have access to:
• Outpatient levels of care
• Inpatient/medical detoxification programs
• Resources for family support
• Mental health professionals
• A certified substance abuse interventionist.
• On-site training on the proper use of nasal Naloxone.
• Dispensing of nasal Naloxone to addicts and their friends and family
• Veterans services personnel.
Arlington ACTS first meeting is scheduled for August 4. There will be free training and
distribution of nasal Naloxone doses by a certified trainer. As the program progresses, police plan to use a curriculum based on the Community Reinforcement and Family Training, which teaches the use of scientifically validated behavioral principals to
reduce a person’s substance use and encourage him or her to seek treatment.
Police are also partnering with Wicked Sober and the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) to help addicts by offering information and advice at no cost and assisting people in locating treatment centers for recovery, using both organizations’ large networks of qualified treatment centers across the country.
All pertinent data from Arlington ACTS and the Initiative’s partnerships will be collected, including:
• Raw numbers of persons served by the program (without identifying the person)
• Number of people trained in the delivery of Naloxone.
• Number of doses of Naloxone dispensed.
• Number of people who enroll in outpatient programming.
• Number of people admitted to inpatient programs.
• Number of referrals to veterans services.
Data will be tracked beginning July 1 and a comparative analysis will be made to historical data related to heroin overdoses in the community (fatal and non-fatal).
“With this information, we will be able to better understand the needs of our residents struggling with the disease of addiction,” Chief Ryan said. “A year from now we will have a much clearer picture of the impact of our efforts and how we can tailor our recovery initiatives moving forward.”
While not identical, The Arlington Outreach Initiative is inspired by the Gloucester Police Department ANGEL Initiative, created by Gloucester Police Chief Leonard Campanello. Gloucester’s Initiative allows people who suffer from addiction to turn over their remaining drug supply and paraphernalia to the Gloucester Police Department without the threat of arrest and then fast-tracks the participant into a treatment center.