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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.
“Collaborating with our community partners helps us to address the growing problem of opioid addiction in Lake County,” stated Curran. “This initiative enables us to discuss recovery and harm reduction with inmates while they are still in jail.”
“These individuals face a difficult transition back into society, often heading back into an environment that encourages their return to substance use,” said Pfister. “This is an intervention that we hope will save lives.”
Since 2014, the Lake County Health Department has trained law enforcement agencies, schools, community coalitions, municipalities, and medical provider groups on the administration of Naloxone. In addition, the Health Department has distributed over 4,000 doses of Naloxone throughout Lake County. Since being trained in August 2014, members of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office have saved 54 lives with Naloxone.
End of Release
Pictured L2R Lake County Health Department Program Coordinators Martin Clancy and Nicole Lasak and TASC Representative Amanda Leonard meet with Lake County Jail inmates interested in learning about Naloxone and substance use treatment.