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Courts and Crime

York County Jail will give 'harm reduction bags' with Narcan, support resources to every person released

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Micky Bedell
/
Bangor Daily News

Beginning Wednesday, every person released from the York County Jail will be offered a harm reduction bag to help them safely transition back into the community. York County Sheriff William King says the bags contain resources for help with housing, substance use disorder and other supports, along with the opioid overdose reversing drug, Narcan, and fentanyl test strips.

"Even if they don't use the opioid themselves, they probably know someone who does. Or, at least now they have Narcan and they're being released and that's another, what I consider another soldier, that can help somebody if they witness an overdose," King says.

King says the bags are being made available with the help of Maine Behavioral Health, Southern Maine Health and Sweetser. Research shows that individuals are at substantially higher for overdose in the first few weeks after they are released from prison or jail. This year is shaping up to be Maine's deadliest year for overdose deaths with an average of 50 being recorded each month.