The Bedford Police and Fire Departments, Bedford Youth and Family Services and the Bedford Board of Health are pleased to announce that they have partnered to provide community members free access to the lifesaving overdose reversal drug Narcan.
The Bedford Police Department, through its membership in the Jail Diversion Program (JDP) and the Central Middlesex Police Partnership (CMPP), has worked to support people dealing with mental and substance abuse issues who they come into contact with, helping connect them with critical resources to overcome those challenges.
"This partnership will provide an invaluable resource for our entire community," Police Chief Robert Bongiorno said. "I am proud of the collaborative effort that's been on display in Bedford and beyond as we all work together to stop the spread of opioid addiction and ultimately save lives."
Through its new partnership with the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.), the nine CMPP member communities -- Acton, Bedford, Concord, Carlisle, Lincoln, Lexington, Stow, Maynard and Hanscom Air Force Base -- will enlist the help of an AmeriCorps recovery coach who will work to further efforts to provide extended support for those struggling with substance abuse disorders.
As part of their work, the recovery coach, with the support of Bedford Police and the JDP clinician, will provide Bedford residents with Narcan and train them on how to use it. Community members can visit Bedford Police and request Narcan, or the recovery coach and a police officer will meet people in need elsewhere in the community to provide it to them.
The CMPP focuses specifically on substance abuse response and relies on follow-up visits with overdose victims in order to connect them with resources and treatment referrals, and Bedford public health and safety agencies have joined together to offer Bedford residents a new method for preventing overdose deaths and helping curtail the impact of the drug epidemic on a local level.
"We're extremely grateful for the support of all of our partner agencies who made this new outreach effort possible," Youth and Family Services Director Sue Baldauf said. "This will better enable us to connect with families in our community and offer them the resources they need to help their loved ones overcome the challenge of substance abuse."