Online Program

Opioid overdose peer prevention: The power of inmate-led overdose prevention in correctional settings

Monday, November 4, 2013

Deborah Milbauer, LCSW, MPH, Roxbury/Jamaica Plain Substance Use Coalition, Boston, MA
John Dolan, LADC, Suffolk County House of Corrections, Boston, MA
Sean Carlson, Suffolk County House of Corrections, Boston, MA
Richard Woy, JRW Associates, Boston, MA
Opioid overdose in Massachusetts is now the leading cause of injury death, surpassing motor vehicle accidents. High risk populations are especially vulnerable to overdose, including individuals experiencing homelessness, and those recently released from detox or prison. One study in 2007 in NEJM showed that former inmates were 129 times more at risk for overdose mortality than the general population, with the highest risk of death within the first 2 weeks of release. In one Boston House of Corrections, surveys of inmates incarcerated on a substance abuse unit revealed that 19% had experienced a non-fatal overdose, while 38% had witnessed an overdose in their lifetime. Of the 19% who experienced overdose, 26% did so within 7 days of release – and half of those, more than once within 7 days of release. Reaching inmates with overdose prevention information and resources, prior to release and when they are most receptive to hearing prevention messages, is an urgent public health priority. This presentation will describe the innovative collaboration between a community substance abuse coalition and an urban House of Correction to reach high risk inmates prior to release. A uniquely developed 6-week curriculum that engages inmates to teach each other will be described. Survey outcomes highlight the power and efficacy of inmate-led education. Overdose can be prevented, or reversed while it is happening – and those most at risk are best positioned to share life-saving information. Survey outcomes, anecdotes and lessons learned will be presented.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Identify at risk-populations for unintentional opioid overdose Identify risk factors for unintentional opioid overdose Describe Opioid overdose prevention and reversal methods Differentiate the benefits between instructor-led and inmate-led educational workshops List 6-session course curriculum for opioid overdose prevention in correctional settings Discuss potential for replication and increased capacity for staff and institutions in correctional settings

Keyword(s): Correctional Institutions, Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a dual-masters in Public Health and Social Work from Boston University. I have over 20 years of behavioral health experience including homelessness, HIV, reproductive health, substance abuse, and currently Opioid overdose prevention. I have developed and delivered CEU accredited HIV curriculum training for homeless service providers, and have taught adjunct Public Health courses at Tufts and Northeastern. Currently, I am the coordinator for the Roxbury/Jamaica Plain Substance Use Coalition in Boston, Massachusetts.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.