Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Bexar Becomes First Texas County to Supply Anti-Overdose Medication to People Released from Jail

Posted By on Wed, Aug 21, 2019 at 10:42 AM

Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar speaks during a press conference. - COURTESY OF BEXAR COUNTY SHEIFF'S DEPARTMENT
  • Courtesy of Bexar County Sheiff's Department
  • Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar speaks during a press conference.
The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office will provide every newly released county jail inmate with medication designed to reverse potential opioid overdoses, according to a Texas Public Radio report.

That makes Bexar the first Texas county to equip former prisoners with Narcan, a nasal spray that if applied quickly enough can nullify the effects of an OD.

The project, conducted in partnership with UT Health San Antonio School of Nursing, aims to curb overdose deaths. In the first two weeks after a person's jail release, they're 40 times more likely to die of an overdose, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar told TPR.

"We attribute that to the fact that they may be living in a jail environment for some time," Salazar said. "They're not using drugs during that time, and then at which point they're likely to have a lower tolerance for the drug once they emerge, but they also may be more likely to overindulge."



The county won't be using its tax dollars to fund the program, according to TPR. Instead, Texas Health and Human Services is providing the drug via a federal grant.

Bexar County last year filed a $1 billion suit against 50 pharmaceutical companies, alleging they committed fraud, misrepresentation and deceptive trade practices that lead to an opioid crisis gripping the county.

Bexar has the third-highest per-capita rate of overdose deaths in Texas, according to county officials.

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