>> These soon-to-be-released New York prisoners are learning to use a life-saving treatment that can reverse a fatal opioid drug overdose.>> That's it, this is a one-time use. Once you're done spraying, it's no more good.>> The medication is called naloxone, the brand name Narcan. Training prisoners is part of an effort to get the treatment in the hands of civilians who are most likely to come into contact with opioid users.
Many of these prisoners are here because of crimes related to drugs. Mark Webb said he's been in and out of jail since he was 16. He says he's glad to learn about Narcan.>> It makes me think back to Jessica, my good friend who died from an overdose.
If she had that, she could've been saved. So this'll definitely save many lives.>> But not all the feedback is positive. Prison supervisor Dennis Breslin says he's heard the criticism that the initiative encourages drug use by allowing users to worry less about overdoses. Nonetheless, Breslin stands firmly behind it.
>> Our inmates go back into the community. Many of them have had a drug problem their whole lives. And they are a good group, if there is such a thing, for this target group. And, again, hopefully nobody ever has to use it.>> After tracking the programs over the past 3 years, Breslin say that at least 6,000 naloxone kits have been handed out to inmates, staff, and inmates' relatives.
>> That's all we can do is give people choices and give people tools. And I think that's part of the mission of the department.>> Similar initiatives have also been introduced at jails in Chicago and Baltimore. Inmates are taught how to administer the drug, and are given a free kit when they're released from prison, hopefully completing their sentence with a new outlook on life and with a new tool to save one.