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An evaluation of Take Home Naloxone program implementation in British Columbian correctional facilities

Lindsay A. Pearce (School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada)
Lauren Mathany (Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Services, British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, Vancouver, Canada)
Diane Rothon (British Columbia Corrections, Victoria, Canada)
Margot Kuo (British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, Vancouver, Canada)
Jane A. Buxton (School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada) (British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, Vancouver, Canada)

International Journal of Prisoner Health

ISSN: 1744-9200

Article publication date: 20 February 2019

Issue publication date: 4 March 2019

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Abstract

Purpose

To understand how the Take Home Naloxone (THN) program is implemented in two pilot correctional facilities in British Columbia (BC), Canada, in order to identify areas for program improvement and inform the expansion of the program to other Canadian correctional facilities The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Two focus groups and one interview were conducted with healthcare staff at two pilot correctional facilities. Sessions were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and divergent and convergent experiences within and between the facilities were explored in an iterative process. Key themes and lessons learned were identified and later validated by focus group participants.

Findings

Key themes that emerged included: challenges and importance of the train-the-trainer program for healthcare staff conducting participant training sessions; potential for improved prison population engagement and awareness of the program; tailoring program resources to the unique needs of an incarcerated population; challenges connecting participants to community harm reduction resources following release; and clarifying and enhancing the role of correctional officers to support the program.

Research limitations/implications

The correctional setting presents unique challenges and opportunities for the THN program that must be considered for program effectiveness.

Originality/value

This evaluation was conducted to inform program expansion amidst a historic opioid overdose epidemic in BC, and adds to the limited yet growing body of literature on the implementation and evaluation of this program in correctional settings globally.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge the contributions of healthcare management at both pilot facilities; healthcare staff who participated in focus groups and interviews; other staff at British Columbia Corrections who helped to plan and implement data collection activities; and regional harm reduction coordinators who provided their knowledge on program implementation and input in evaluation design.

Citation

Pearce, L.A., Mathany, L., Rothon, D., Kuo, M. and Buxton, J.A. (2019), "An evaluation of Take Home Naloxone program implementation in British Columbian correctional facilities", International Journal of Prisoner Health, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 46-57. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPH-12-2017-0058

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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