In Response to On-Going Opioid Epidemic, Ammon Labs Hosts Landmark Police, Treatment and Community Collaborative Pre-Arrest Diversion and Deflection Conference

Conference featured speeches from nationally-recognized PTAC expert, West Orange Police Chief and Morris County Sheriff

West Orange, N.J. (July 26, 2018) – As the opioid epidemic continues to ravage our communities, Ammon Labs, the preferred drug testing laboratory by addiction treatment professionals and healthcare partners for over 20 years, hosted its inaugural Police, Treatment and Community (PTAC) Collaborative Pre-Arrest Diversion and Deflection Conference yesterday at the Highlawn Pavilion in West Orange, N.J.

As a founding partner of the PTAC Collaborative, executives from Ammon Labs were joined by West Orange Police Chief James Abbott, Morris County Sheriff James Gannon and Jac A. Charlier, MPA, National Director for Justice Initiatives at the Center for Health and Justice at Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC) to discuss innovative, community-oriented solutions to help stem the deadly scourge of substance misuse and place thousands on a path towards sustainable recovery. The event was attended by over 100 community leaders and senior law enforcement officials as well as substance abuse and behavioral health professionals who were able to learn first-hand what PTAC Collaborative is and how it can help them in their fight against the epidemic.

Police, Treatment and Community (PTAC) Collaborative is the nation’s leader in pre-arrest diversion and deflection, a powerful tool that unites law enforcement officers, behavioral health service providers, and other community leaders in a shared goal: to redirect eligible individuals away from the criminal justice system and into community-based behavioral health treatment and recovery support. Throughout the United States, these programs have provided municipalities with a highly collaborative tool to combat the rise in opioid abuse in their communities. Sherriff Gannon and Police Chief Abbott have been among the leaders in New Jersey who have seen dramatic success in implementing PTAC-style tools in their local communities.

The conference featured a keynote presentation from Jac A. Charlier, MPA, a nationally recognized expert in police deflection and pre-arrest diversion and is the co-founder of the Police, Treatment and Community (PTAC) Collaborative. Charlier has developed a framework for prevention and reduction of opioid overdose and death in the justice population, as well as community-based post-OD response strategies for law enforcement and shared his insights with the group on how these strategies can be used in their communities to counter the ongoing opioid crisis.

Sheriff Gannon and Chief Abbott also provided additional insights and experience into how PTAC inspired programs have been implemented in their districts and what other municipalities can learn from their examples.  Sheriff Gannon’s mobile recovery access service, HOPE ONE, has resulted in 4,000 contacts since launching over a year ago and through bringing recovery services into communities has resulted in 170 people entering treatment programs. The success of this program has also inspired several other New Jersey counties to pursue the development of similar programs. Additionally, Chief Abbott shared his experience in building a community-based PTAC program that has brought law enforcement officers, first responders and municipal leaders into a collaborative effort designed around ensuring that those who need treatment can secure it. The Ammon Foundation’s Executive Director, Mariel Hufnagel, also shared her personal story about addiction and the importance of programs like the PTAC Collaborative in ensuring that those who need treatment can find it.

“As a company that works with local communities, addiction treatment providers and law enforcement leaders we are in an excellent position to create opportunities for these groups to collaborate and develop solutions that will help the thousands of New Jersey residents currently struggling with substance abuse,” said Evan Haupt, President of Ammon Labs. “We would like to thank Jac Charlier, Sherriff Gannon, and Chief Abbott for sharing their first-hand experience with PTAC Collaborative solutions with all of those who joined us at the conference. We look forward to continuing to work with our local community leaders to support their fight against substance abuse and provide them with the services needed to support long-term recovery.”

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