Basic information and syllabus
This course is a product of the project “My first 48 hours out – comprehensive approaches to pre and post-prison release interventions for drug users in the criminal justice system”.
It aims to promote the implementation of life-saving interventions in prison and upon release with specific reference to harm reduction, overdose prevention and the use of naloxone programmes.
The project, led by the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences/Germany, received funding from the European Union for the period 2017-2018. It aims at addressing the gaps in the continuity of care for long-term drug users in prison and upon release, by supporting life-saving interventions for the prevention of overdoses and reduction of other risks related to drug use and for the establishment of a treatment path, which does not get interrupted upon release.
For prisoners with a history of drug use, in particular, opioid use, the risks related to drug use, in particular overdose and death are extremely high in the immediate period after release due to high rates of relapse and lower opioid tolerance. Much still needs to be done in order to ensure that people with a history of drug use are sufficiently cared for when released from prisons. Harm reduction measures need to be in place for ex-prisoners to be able to readjust to freedom without relapsing back into problematic drug use and extreme risk of fatal overdose when released.
The immediate time after release (“my first 48 hours out”) is a critical time for action, when the cooperation between prisons, healthcare providers and NGOs is key in ensuring continuity of care and where targeted interventions can save lives from overdose and build a path towards engagement into further treatment and rehabilitation for people who use drugs.
Among other actions, the project wants to promote the implementation of life-saving interventions in prison and upon release with specific reference to harm reduction, overdose prevention and the use of naloxone programmes.
This is a key priority to be addressed by both policymakers and practitioners in European countries. The current work aims at producing hands-on guidelines for policymakers and practitioners from prison health services on how to promote, initiate and manage interventions related to overdose prevention through naloxone programmes and related training and capacity building.
Who is this course for?
This course is relevant to prisoner health care policy makers, managers and practitioners involved in caring for people who use drugs and those likely to witness an overdose.
The objective of this course is to assist in the reduction of opioid-related mortality within the first few weeks following prison release. Specifically, seek to:
- Increase the availability of naloxone to people likely to witness an overdose when they are released from prison.
- Increase awareness of the identification of the signs and symptoms of an overdose and equip people with the skills to respond effectively.
In order to achieve these outcomes, this course will:
- Inform prisoner healthcare policymakers of the benefits of naloxone-on-re-lease from prison.
- Advise policymakers of the practical steps necessary to introduce naloxone-on-release.
- Inform programme managers of the benefits of naloxone-on-release and provide advice on implementation.
How is the course organized?
By the end of the course, participants will also have an understanding of the opiate overdose reversal medication naloxone, where to obtain a kit and how to utilise it in the case of an overdose.
The content of the course was adopted from previously developed guidelines, manuals and handbooks and is based on international best practices. The curriculum includes three modules with descriptions of content to learn, quizzes and tips for practical exercises.
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Part 1. Opioid Overdose
By the end of this part, you will be able to:
- Identify an overdose.
- Explain how to prevent an overdose.
Part 2. What is Naloxone?
By the end of this part, you will be able to describe naloxone and its use.
Part 3. The Scottish Model
By the end of this part, you will be able to describe how naloxone is used in Scottish prisons. You will also learn about training materials for prison staff in Scotland.