A partnership between the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington State Healthcare Authority is providing ...
A partnership between the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington State Healthcare Authority is providing lifesaving naloxone to inmates when they are released from jail.
Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a medication that blocks the effects of opioids such as heroin and fentanyl. It can reverse an opioid overdose, providing time for the person to be transported to a hospital emergency room.
While the sheriff’s office does not receive any money from the WSHCA, it is receiving an ongoing supply of naloxone for distribution to inmates upon their release from the Jefferson County Jail, Sheriff Joe Nole said.
The medication became available through the 2021 legislative enactment of 2SSB 5195, which requires hospital emergency departments and many certified and licensed behavioral health settings to distribute prepackaged naloxone to anyone at risk of an opioid overdose.
At a recent county government coordination meeting, Nole said that naloxone being included in bags that departing inmates receive is “a good thing.”
“The decision to get involved with this program is the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office’s continuing commitment to minimize opioid overdoses and improve quality of life in Jefferson County for all of our residents,” the sheriff stated in an email to The Leader.
“Many of our inmates have a substance use disorder and/or know others with a substance use disorder. Providing naloxone to this population can help save lives and coupled with our drug treatment program in the jail may even aid in changing behavior,” he said.