By Hannah Goering
On Tuesday, December 5, 2017, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Lake County Health Department and Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC) launched a Naloxone education program for Lake County Jail inmates. The program kicked off with a Lake County Health Department representative visiting the pods and informing inmates of the opportunity for Naloxone training. TASC is set to provide Naloxone training to inmates preparing for release, with a goal of reducing opioid-related deaths.
Sheriff Mark C. Curran, Jr. stated, “We know inmates with Substance Use Disorder have a high rate of relapse. Through this program, we hope to educate inmates on how to prevent overdoses and on the rehabilitative resources that are available. If they refrain from using during their first couple weeks out of jail, they may be more likely to seek help for their addiction.”
“Research determined that former inmates are at high risk for death from drug overdose, especially in the immediate post-release period,” said Mark Pfister, the Health Department’s Executive Director. “A person’s drug tolerance can diminish during their time in jail, so the risk of overdose is higher.”
A Lake County Health Department representative will make monthly visits to each pod at the Lake County Jail to educate inmates on the use of Naloxone and encourage them to register for individual training. Inmates who register will be trained to use the overdose antidote by a TASC representative. Following completion of the training, a dose of Naloxone, along with information about addiction treatment services, will be added to the inmate’s property bag. These items are made available to the inmate upon release from jail.
The new program is funded by a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), administered through the Department of Human Services.