Antiaddiction medication Vivitrol available to residents via police partner

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Globe, Dec. 9: Authorities have high hopes

UPDATED, Dec. 9: The Arlington Police Department has partnered with Square Medical Group of Watertown to expand resources for combating opiate addiction by providing residents with Vivitrol and outpatient treatment services to assist in recovery efforts.

Vivitrol is the first and only once-monthly, nonaddictive, nonnarcotic medication proven to prevent relapse following detoxification. Residents will also be able to receive services through Square Medical's primary-care, behavioral-health and substance-abuse programs.

The partnership allows the Arlington police to continue to implement the goals of its outreach initiative, including expanding addiction-treatment options and resources (inpatient and outpatient) and increasing access to medication/pharmaceutical assisted treatment for opiate addiction.

"Square Medical will play a vital role in our plan to combat the disease of addiction in our community by providing residents with the lifesaving medication and vital outpatient services," Chief Fred Ryan said in a news release. "I am proud to give our residents access to this new and innovative treatment option thanks to the partnerships we have forged with resources in and around the community."

When interacting with residents struggling with addiction, Arlington police and the department's civilian clinician will refer residents who have completed detox or who have been clean for three days to Square Medical to obtain a Vivitrol dose. Group therapy and outpatient services will be available to community members as needed.

To ensure citizens can receive the Vivitrol shot every month, Arlington police will provide taxi vouchers through Yellow Cab of Belmont to residents who require assistance getting to and from Watertown.

"We are thrilled to be working with the Arlington Police Department to expand services for their residents working to recover from opiate addiction," Square Medical Founder Natalie Lender said. "We will work with each patient individually to not only provide them with Vivitrol, but to further their path to recovery as they overcome their addiction and move toward a healthier life."

The Arlington Outreach Initiative was the second police-driven addiction treatment and recovery program created under the banner of the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (PAARI). 

Square Medical Group works to treat each person with a tailored approach. Patients seek help in managing their long-term medical and mental health needs during and beyond addiction recovery. Square Medical views addiction as a long-term process that cannot be solved by a one-time trip to a detox facility. It takes months or sometimes years of steady healing through mental health coaching and management, as well as staying physically healthy, which is how physicians model their treatment programs.

PAARI was started to support local police departments as they work with opioid addicts. Rather than arrest its way out of the problem of drug addiction, PAARI committed police departments:

• Encourage opioid drug users to seek recovery
• Help distribute lifesaving opioid blocking drugs to prevent and treat overdoses
• Connect addicts with treatment programs and facilities
• Provide resources to other police departments and communities that want to do more to fight the opioid addiction epidemic
PAARI was created by Gloucester Police Chief Leonard Campanello and John Rosenthal to bridge the gap between the police department and opioid addicts seeking recovery.

Opiate image for forumOct. 14, 2015: OPIOIDS IN OUR MIDST: Understanding precedes enforcement, Town Hall crowd told

Globe, Oct. 18, 2015: DCF fails to track abuse, opioids
Globe, Oct. 15, 2015: Baker seeks to limit opioid prescriptions
Sept. 1, 2015: First memorial vigil views addiction from those who suffer
Aug. 4, 2015: Police release action plan on addiction
July 10, 2015: Town police begin reaching out to addicts

This announcement was published Monday, Nov. 30, 2015, and updated Dec. 9, to add a link.