Overdose 101: New York inmates trained to use opioid antidote kit

A program in New York teaches inmates how to use naloxone kits to save lives once they are released.

A program in New York teaches inmates how to use naloxone kits to save lives once they are released. Studies show that although opioid addiction has spread to many different communities across the United States, recently released prisoners are more vulnerable to overdosing, particularly those who do not realize their tolerance has dropped while inside prison. The program began in early 2015, after Dennis Breslin, superintendent of the Queensboro prison in New York City, noticed an advertisement for naloxone training at his local YMCA. While he first thought of only training the guards, he saw that as half a measure. The state's Department of Health and Department of Corrections has since expanded the program to numerous other jails and prisons throughout the state. At least 15,500 inmates or parolees have received the training in the program's first 3 years, with more than 6,350 of them taking home naloxone kits. Similar programs have started at jails in Chicago and Baltimore.