Chief Paul Storti is pleased to announce that the Great Barrington Police Department has taken a major step toward providing critical resources for those suffering from substance use disorders.

As reported in a press release, the department has partnered with Rural Recovery Resources, under program manager Gary Pratt, to provide substance abuse services through the utilization of recovery coaches. Recovery coaching is a form of strengths-based support for people with addictions or in recovery from alcohol, other drugs, codependency, or other addictive behaviors. They work with people who have active addictions, as well as those already in recovery.

Chief Paul Storti made the following statement:

This is a great addition to our current co-responder program and another way that we are trying to help our community when in need.

The Co-Responder Program that was launched in June of 2019 was designed to increase earlier identification and intervention for citizens with mental illness who have contact with law enforcement. The goal is to decrease the likelihood that those individuals will be arrested and enter into the criminal justice system because of behaviors related to their mental illness. The clinician assists people in crisis, outlines services available to those in need, completes follow-up visits with residents to ensure they are receiving all of the help available to them. Recovery coaches will be able to do the same for those struggling with substance misuse.

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Rural Recovery Resources is funded by a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Communities Opioid Response Program grant that funds a peer-support recovery center that will act as a referral hub to connect people to existing services. Program Manager, Gary Pratt said the fowllowing:

Rural Recovery Resources is excited to enter into a partnership with the Great Barrington Police Department in an effort to truly get people the help they need. We're grateful to Chief Storti and his recognition that addiction is a treatable condition and that progressive police policy is good for the individual and community as a whole.

If you or someone you know is in need of help, reach out to The Great Barrington Police Department and you will be connected to one of our partners who specialize in these services. They are open 24/7.

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