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Department of Correction making naloxone available for inmates upon release

The overdose reversal drug blocks the toxic effects of opioid overdoses.
Credit: WTHR

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Department of Correction announced a new plan to help newly released inmates. The agency will make naloxone, the overdose reversal agent, available to all offenders upon release.

"Expanding the availability of naloxone to all offenders upon release from one of our correctional facilities is one way we can ensure these individuals a smooth transition back into the community as contributing members of society, forever removed from justice-involved settings," said Dr. Kristen Dauss, IDOC Chief Medical Officer. "Substance use disorder is a disease, and IDOC plays a critical role in connecting people to the quality treatment they need."

The drug blocks the toxic effects of opioid overdoses. It often is the tool that keeps people alive in life-or-death situations with narcotics.

An Indiana nonprofit organizations called Overdose Lifeline, Inc. helped make the new plan happen with a donation of 2,255 kits — worth more than  $84,000 — to IDOC facilities. Overdose Lifeline, Inc. also works to fight drug addiction through advocacy, education, harm reduction, prevention, resources and support.

Offenders will be asked in their pre-release medical screening if they would like a naloxone kit. It includes one dose of naloxone, instructions for use and a referral card for treatment.

IDOC would also like to offer the kits in Indiana's 10 parole districts.