Chicago Recovery Alliance and Gateway Foundation
Begin Opioid OD Prevention in Cook County Jail
On Tuesday June 11, 2013, Ashley Tsang (a UChicago Medical Student and Schweitzer Fellow) and Dan Bigg, CRA's Director met with Mike Colombatto, PsyD Program Administrator at Gateway Foundation's Treatment System at Cook County Jail regarding integrating opioid overdose at the Jail. Ashley concluded from research that non-dependent opioid users leaving corrections had over 100 times the risk of death through overdose as ordinary citizens.
A quick meeting of the minds was had and Ashley and Dan began trainings at Cook County Jail's Gateway Treatment System's two programs (Day Treatment and Pre-Release residential settings).
The OD trainings on June 13 and 14, 2013 were very well received showing the majority of individuals there had been around opioid overdose and nearly a third had been around a fatal such OD.
Plans are to continue these trainings and improve the process of making OD preventative options readily available to all tolerance-lessened individuals and those around opioid users under IL's OD Program law (20 ILCS 301/5-23) which allows lay persons to become OD Responders and carry and use naloxone via injection.
We are delighted with this life affirming progress in Chicago and thank our colleagues in Pittsburgh, Rhode Island, and San Francisco among others for their guidance and other assistance with this effort.