Opioid addiction is a common issue amongst prisoners worldwide, and can have fatal consequences. For drug users whose tolerance has decreased over a considerable prison sentence, a relapse after release can easily result in overdose—and potentially death.
Since the rise of the super-strength opioid fentanyl, overdose amongst ex-prisoners in Canada has become all the more common, but the Correctional Service Canada has expanded an initiative to safeguard addicted ex-prisoners, as this recent article reports.
The drug naloxone can save lives in the case of overdose, acting as an antidote which reverses the effects of opioids. With this in mind, take-home kits have been made available to discharged inmates, including naloxone, one-time use safety syringes, a mask, gloves and alcohol swabs, as well as instructions on how naloxone should be administered. The initiative began in British Columbia in November 2016 at one institution, and has now become a national programme, with 4,950 kits to be supplied over the next three years.
Dr Peter Butt, a health additions consultant and physician in Saskatoon, praised the programme, stressing that support for released prisoners is essential to ensure that they can make a safe and successful transition back into the community. You can read the full article here.
Prisoners Abroad is dedicated to supporting our clients not only during their prison sentence, but also through our Resettlement Service after release. Shortly before a prisoner is due to be released, we contact them to establish their specific needs and how we can help them. If a client chooses to disclose an alcohol or substance misuse problem to us, we are then able to direct them to the relevant services for support, or get them referred for treatment.
At any one time, Prisoners Abroad is supporting 100 ex-prisoners via our Resettlement Service. We put a roof over our clients’ heads, give them money for travel and food, and prepare them for finding work, so they can have a second chance to rebuild their lives.
Find out more about our Resettlement Programme here.