Launch of Milton Cares Overdose Response Team

Coinciding with National Recovery Month, the Milton Police Department and the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (MSAPC) are pleased to announce the official launch of “Milton Cares” on September 5th at 10:00am at The Milton Police Department.  They will be joined by Milton Cares partners including the Manet Community Health Center, the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (PAARI), Fallon Ambulance, Milton Health Department and the Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital.  The public is invited.

Milton Cares has been a vision of Police Chief John King, as the opioid crisis had been gaining momentum in our community.  The program planning process was made possible through a grant from the Blue Hills Community Health Alliance to hire Laurie Stillman, Director of the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, as the police department’s planning consultant.  Over the past six months, she conducted research on similar programs across the state and investigated who might serve as partners in the delivery of the program.

The program’s goal is to support families who are experiencing drug and/or alcohol dependency.  A team, comprised of a Substance Prevention Counselors certified to train and provide Narcan, and a Recovery Coach who has lived experience with addiction and is trained to help others struggling with drug and alcohol dependency, will visit a household where there was a recent overdose or request for assistance.  The team will be accompanied by a plain-clothed police officer to support the team.  The individual who overdosed, or their loved ones, will be provided information on how they can receive support and access to treatment.

“The Milton Police Department understands that addiction is a disease.  Our goal with Milton Cares is to offer help to those residents struggling with substance dependency.  It is not to arrest”, said Chief John King.  “Services provided will be confidential.”

“Milton Cares is consistent with the Ten Standards of Care for Addressing the Opioid Crisis by Police Departments, a publication recently released by Johns Hopkins University,” said Laurie Stillman who directs the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition.  “We have a fantastic team of partners who, at no cost to the town, will be providing essential services to our many residents with substance use disorders.”

Caroline Kinsella, Milton’s Public Health Director said, “Public Health Nurse Susan Poirier has been very busy assembling informational packets for the individuals with substance use disorders and for their families. These packets will be provided by the team at the home visit. They have information on who to call for help, how to find support groups, where to get treatment, and how to use Narcan.”

Kim Kroeger, who oversees substance use programs at Manet said, “We have assigned our substance prevention counselors, who are supported with a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, to join the Milton Cares Team. They are authorized to provide households with Narcan—a life-saving drug during an opioid overdose- for those at high risk.”

Allie Hunter McDade, Executive Director of PAARI, has been providing the Milton Cares team with technical support.  “We are excited to see this project coming together under the leadership of Chief King, who is joining a growing movement of police departments taking proactive steps to connect individuals to treatment and recovery services. PAARI is pleased to make our AmeriCorps Recovery Coach to support the effort and we think he will be an important asset to the outreach team.”

In addition, Christine Hamilton, Risk Manager at Fallon Ambulance, has been part of the planning team from the start. “Fallon is pleased to provide transportation to those who want to be transported to a rehabilitation facility. We are committed members of the Milton community and want to help out where we can during this opioid crisis,” she said.

“Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton is aware that addiction is a growing problem, and
congratulates the community in coming together to launch this critical and compassionate program,” said Robert McCrystal, the hospital’s Communications Director who has participated in the Milton Cares planning process.

The program team will be activated following an overdose call to 9-1-1.  However, referrals to the program can be made by anyone, so long as the need is for a Milton household.  Confidential help from Milton Cares can be obtained my emailing  Miltoncares@mpdmilton.org