As the opioid epidemic continues to distress our community, local agencies are coming together to offer more services to those in need.
“Last fall, 24 counties in New York State, including Genesee, that are deemed ‘opioid burdened’ received funds from the CDC and New York State Department of Health to take local action to address the epidemic,” said Paul Pettit, Public Health director for Genesee and Orleans counties.
“After looking at our current services and speaking with local partners we wanted to launch an innovative program we learned about a few months earlier during a GOW Opioid Task Force meeting where Police Chief Volkman from Chatham spoke about the Police Assisted Addiction Recovery Initiative, more easily known as PAARI (pronounced PARR-REE).
"Using the funding to bring the successful approach of this program from Chatham into Genesee, will allow those who want to get into substance use treatment a 24/7 opportunity by going to one of the partnering first-responder agencies for help.”
The PAARI program will launch locally on Tuesday, April 23rd.
It will allow anyone who wants help with their addiction to walk into any police station or the city fire station and get the help they need. The program is supported by City of Batavia Police, City of Batavia Fire Department, Le Roy Police, and Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.
“The funds will help pay for overtime that will likely be incurred by staff of Public Safety agencies, as well as help pay for peer recovery coaches from Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (GCASA) that will be contacted once a person seeking treatment walks through the door," Pettit said.
"GCASA is an equally important partner in this, as they have hired the peer recovery coaches, who have been trained in providing services in the community early after receiving these funds.
"The peers will work with each individual and identify where they can go for the proper services,regardless of if it’s local or not, and make sure they get there. Ultimately, being a support in that moment and in the future, too. This program highlights the commitment and collaboration of our community partners to help address this crisis.”
GC Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr. agrees with Pettit regarding the collaboration of our first responders and the commitment to help address the opioid epidemic.
“This is a good collaboration between police, fire and the public," Sheron said. "I fully support the program and hope it will help people get the treatment services they need.”
For more information or for immediate help, please call GCASA’s peer services hotline at (585) 815-1800.