“This is a great opportunity for residents who are struggling with addiction and looking to recover to learn about the life-saving drug Vivitrol that has been proven to prevent relapses.”
That quote probably sounds like a pitch from a pharmaceutical company, or maybe part of community outreach from a treatment provider. It actually comes from the chief of police in Arlington, Mass.
Chief Frederick Ryan was referring in a news release to a Community Training and Support event being sponsored by his department on the night of Jan. 26; the release was titled “Vivitrol: Could This Be the Opiate Addiction Antidote?” Opioid users and their loved ones are invited to attend the meeting, which is another byproduct of a growing national effort to have local police departments take a more treatment-focused approach to combating the prescription drug and heroin crises.
The one-hour meeting also will provide training in how to administer the opioid overdose reversal medication naloxone, and will offer free doses of the drug. The evening's guest speaker is Katherine Gorham, a Massachusetts nurse practitioner who runs buprenorphine patient groups for a medical practice and is establishing a program centered on injectable naltrexone treatment.
The ranks of law enforcement agencies that are reaching out more compassionately to individuals affected by addiction are growing. Are you seeing evidence of this in your community?