Date of Conferral





Public Health


Michael Dunn


Opioid overdoses and overdose deaths have increased significantly throughout the United States. Naloxone distribution has become a harm reduction strategy that has proven effective in reducing opioid overdoses in urban areas through drug treatment centers and needle exchange programs. However, limited research is available on the efficacy and feasibility of these programs in rural locations and other nontraditional settings. Guided by harm reduction theory, the purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to address this gap by exploring the feasibility of implementing a take home naloxone program in rural jails. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 6 jail administrators in rural upstate New York to determine their knowledge, attitudes, perceptions, and perceived barriers of a take home naloxone program. Data analysis of the participant interviews concluded 6 themes. The first theme concluded that participants believe naloxone acts as a safety net for drug users. The second theme identified that jail personnel are knowledgeable of opioid overdose and naloxone administration. Theme three confirmed that jail personnel would likely not support a naloxone program. Theme four concluded that naloxone training within the jail would likely be appreciated by inmates. The fifth theme addressed that multiple training barriers exist. In conclusion theme six affirmed that harm reduction programs are not favored by jail administrators.

The implications for positive social change include increased knowledge of barriers that surround nonmedical and nontraditional community dispensing models for Naloxone and improved community awareness of a growing public health concern and increases collaboration towards a public health and safety approach to substance use and abuse.