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Oconee County Detention Center to Supply Narcan Kits to High Risk Inmates Released from Jail

(From L-R): Captain Jeremy Chapman - Oconee County Detention Center; Dr. Phillip Moschella - Emergency Medicine Physician - Prisma Health

From L-R: Captain Jeremy Chapman - Oconee County Detention Center; Barbara Dendy - Peer Recovery Coordinator - Prisma Health; Morgan Davis - Research Coordinator - Prisma Health Addiction Medicine Center; Darin Thomas, LMSW - Strategic Project Director - Prisma Health Addiction Medicine Center

(Walhalla, SC)-------------------------------------The Oconee County Detention Center, in partnership with the Prisma Health Addiction Medicine Center, will begin supplying Narcan kits to inmates at high risk for opioid overdoses upon their release from the Oconee County Detention Center to help combat potential opiate overdoses.

“With the continuing numbers of overdoses due to the opioid epidemic, our goal in supplying these kits is to try to prevent people from dying from a drug overdose – whether it’s our former inmates, children or vulnerable citizens,” says Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw.

“Only a small amount of opioids could be fatal to children,” said Sheriff Crenshaw. “Likewise, adults who have detoxed off of drugs will not have the tolerance level they once had – if there is a relapse, they may attempt to use the same amount of a drug used before being incarcerated in order to get the same effect. However, this line of thinking could put them at greater risk of an overdose since their tolerance level may be significantly lower due to the effects of becoming abstinent.”

The kits contain one box of Narcan, which is the equivalent of two doses, along with some local resource information.

A $790,000 grant to Prisma Health from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance funded the Narcan kit project, said Darin Thomas, strategic project director of the Prisma Health Addiction Medicine Center.

“We’re proud to work with the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office on this potentially life-saving project,” said Thomas. “Providing Narcan to those exiting incarceration is an essential step in promoting community safety and reducing overdose fatalities.”

“Addiction is a chronic illness that can begin with just taking prescribed opioids after dental work or surgery,” said Dr. Alain Litwin, the Addiction Medicine Center’s Executive Director.“By working closely with community partners, we are able to better educate our communities about addiction and how to prevent it, as well as offer innovative and accessible treatment and recovery programs to those struggling with the disease. By working together, we can better support our families and parents in need.”

In April of 2017, all certified Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Deputies attended LEON training (Law Enforcement Naloxone training). In that training, Deputies were instructed on recognizing the signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose as well as the proper preparation, administration, storage, and carrying of Narcan. Since that training, all certified Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Deputies have been equipped with Narcan.

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