Overdose prevention in a New York city prison: Start of a groundbreaking new initiative
New York State has launched a pilot program at a New York City's Queensboro Correctional Facility, in which all individuals being released will be given training in overdose recognition and response, and they will be offered naloxone.9 Feb 2015
New York State has launched an exciting pilot program at a New York City's Queensboro Correctional Facility, in which all individuals being released will be given training in overdose recognition and response; and they will be offered naloxone, a life-saving medicine that reverses opioid overdoses.
Risk of death from overdosing on heroin or other opioids such as Vicodin or OxyContin goes up substantially after periods of refraining from drug use. Quantities that once brought pleasure can be fatal after a period of abstinence. The research shows that individuals leaving jail or prison are particularly vulnerable. Expansion of this pilot throughout the State's prison system is anticipated. This common-sense approach has been a vision and a goal of the Harm Reduction Coalition for several years. Until all the folks who should not be in prison to begin with are out, this is a great step forward in keeping people alive, healthy and in control of their own destinies.
Naloxone is a medication that temporarily reverses a drug overdose by allowing a person to start breathing again on their own. It can be delivered via a nasal spray or injection. For the New York State program, the nasal version will be used. Naloxone is simply administered, safe and extremely effective. It is not a drug that can be misused. Teaching people how to respond to an overdose is also very straightforward and can be taught quickly.
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