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RSAT Forum > Monthly Discussion > March 2019: Model Naloxone Distribution Programs View modes: 
skeller - 3/21/2019 1:03:58 PM
March 2019: Model Naloxone Distribution Programs

Question:  Our RSAT program does a pretty good job including education about overdose prevention and risk reduction, but the beds are limited.  We would like to pilot a naloxone distribution program and see if we can expand it for all inmates, not just RSAT participants. Any good models out there so we don’t have to reinvent the wheel?

Response 1:  First of all, it’s terrific that you are expanding overdose prevention efforts to the general population!  It may well be, inmates who are involved with opioids and don’t have the benefit of treatment are at higher risk. There are many models that are working in jails and prisons.  For example, in North Carolina, the state Harm Reduction Coalition does trainings in some of the jails and at least one prison. Any inmate who has taken the training can request a naloxone kit, and a Coalition volunteer will meet them at the gate and bring it them upon release.  Other jails and prisons do their own in-house training and provide kits to inmates upon their release.  Still others post notices in the visiting rooms that family members can stay for a short video and then get a kit to take home with them. If you lack resources to do it in house, you could consider identifying and then partnering with a community harm reduction agency or public health agency to come into the facility and do a program for you. The agency’s participation may give people a connection to a resource they may need and may be more likely to use once they are released. The administration should be supportive, especially as the agency bears the expenses.

Note:  The RSAT TTA providers will soon release a manual on overdose prevention.  Please check this website and it will be posted as soon as approved by BJA.


Response 2:  The state of New York implemented an overdose education and naloxone distribution program to people just released from their state prisons. The results of an evaluation of this program came up with important issues to consider when trying to implement a similar project. Here is the link: There is small fact sheet but a much longer in-depth paper that I highly recommend. The name of the paper is right in the link. It covers a lot that you may want to think about before starting a naloxone distribution program. For one – you need to include the overdose education piece, as well as training all staff (administrators, officers, medical and treatment) in the philosophy behind it. I wish you well from the Frozen North!