Arlington Opiate Outreach Initiative

A two-pronged outreach program in a suburb of Boston that provides active outreach to people who use drugs and a post-overdose response in addition to increasing community education and awareness

Begun in 2015, the Arlington Opiate Outreach Initiative is a program embedded in the Arlington Police Department that aims to reduce the number of opioid overdoses in the community. The initiative provides several services to the community including: 

  • pairs police officers and mental health clinicians to provide active outreach to individuals and their families after an overdose as well as to known at-risk individuals in the community 
  • Naloxone and overdose response training to at-risk individuals and the community
  • Information and referral on appropriate assessment, treatment, and recovery resources along with follow up and case management
  • Community education about opioids to increase awareness and reduce stigma, and holds regular prescription drug take-back days
  • Building and sustaining community partnerships to address the opioid crisis

The initiative also features data collection to track and monitor progress, including the number of program participants, persons enrolled in outpatient versus inpatient programs, persons trained in the delivery of naloxone, dispensed doses of naloxone, and referrals to veterans’ services.

More information on replicating this program can be found here

Post-overdose response, naloxone distribution, and community collaboration and education by the same initiative.

Continuum of Care
Harm Reduction
Type of Evidence
Response Approach
Overdose prevention
Post-overdose response

Evidence of Program Effectiveness

No formal evaluation of the program has been conducted, but this program model is derived from PAARI, which has shown promising results.

The program self-reports holding more than 15 community meetings, training over 75 people to use naloxone, and disposing of over 96,098 unused prescription drugs.