Center for Behavioral Health and Justice in the news

To reduce stigma, Oneonta recovery center uses vending machine to distribute overdose reversal drug

By Phoebe Taylor-Vuolo  An addiction recovery center in Otsego County has introduced the first naloxone vending machine in New York. Naloxone, also known as the brand name drug Narcan, can reverse opioid overdoses. Experts hope these vending machines will improve access to the lifesaving drug. The machine was inspired by a program out of the Wayne State University Center for Behavioral Health and Justice. Matt Costello, WSU’s program manager, works with county jails and community centers to bring in naloxone vending machines. The machines are placed in visiting rooms, or in release areas, so people can access them on their way out of jail. Costello said the vending machines offer anonymity, helping to reduce the barriers that people who use drugs often face accessing naloxone. “Again, this is a population that is already dealing with a lot of challenges…many of them stigma-based, shame-based,” Costello said. He said that reducing stigma and providing anonymity are key, and that vending machines should also be placed in areas that are accessible 24 hours a day. “[It would be] nice if crises only happened from nine to five on Monday through Friday,right? We know in the real world, that just doesn’t happen. So if you have a strategically placed machine, it offers the opportunity for ease of access,” Costello said. The program in Michigan has placed 50 machines and distributed 19,000 kits of naloxone.  
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Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office adds vending machine with naloxone free to public

By Amber Ainsworth  Free naloxone, known by the brand name Narcan, is now available from the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office. Naloxone is used to reverse an opioid overdose. It does not have any impact on a person who does not have opioids in their system, making it a good antidote to have in case someone may be overdosing. The Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office partnered with the Wayne State University Center for Behavioral Health and Justice and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to get the vending machine.  
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Free Narcan vending machines popping up around Michigan

Vending machines distributing the opioid-overdose-reversing-drug Narcan are being installed in strategic locations in an effort to reduce the number of overdoses in Michigan and throughout the country. Wayne State University’s Center for Behavioral Health and Justice has used grant money to place 15 vending machines across the state, in places like county jails, centers that provide services for drug users, and the university’s undergraduate library. “You could administer Narcan, and if you are wrong – and the person is not overdosing – there is no harm to the individual,” said Wayne State University Center for Behavioral Health and Justice program manager Matthew Costello. Costello speaks with Paul W. Smith about the benefits the machines have for the community, and how people can assess and decide to administer Narcan. “We’re very excited about this program…we know it’s a lifesaving program…,” said Costello. Some of the people who are at most of overdosing are those coming out of jail. “Narcan is just one approach that the CBHJ has to address this issue. Part of my responsibility is to set up assistance programming inside our county jails so those people who are opioid-involved coming into the jails can either continue or begin treatment for their opioid addiction while they’re incarcerated…” 
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No snacks or drinks, these vending machine dispense something that saves lives

By Georgea Kovanis The newest vending machines in Michigan aren’t dispensing pop or chips, they’re doling out Narcan, the medication that reverses opioid overdoses. Popping up at strategic locations, the machines represent the latest attempt to make Narcan more available to the public in an effort to quell the staggering number of overdoses in Michigan and across the nation. Using grant money, Wayne State University’s Center for Behavioral Health and Justice has placed 15 vending machines across the state, including the university’s undergraduate library, as well as centers that provide services for drug users. Eight of the machines are located in county jails – Monroe, Jackson, Manistee, Washtenaw, Delta, Kalamazoo, Wexford and Oakland county jails – for use by inmates who are being released after serving time or, in some cases, by jail visitors. Jails are especially important locations because research shows drug users leaving incarceration are at high risk of fatal overdoses. “The data is clear about overdose rates about people post incarceration,” said Matthew Costello, program manager at the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice. “It’s been proven time and time again in state and state and site and site. So we understand that vulnerability. To ignore that is criminal in its own right.”
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Push to improve conditions for Michigan's incarcerated prompts research, proposals for new facility

By Erin Marie Miller Over 30 years ago, Dr. Sheryl Kubiak made an observation that would alter the course of her career forever and, eventually, impact the future of Michigan’s incarcerated. After developing and operating a long-term residential re-entry program for pregnant women addicted to crack cocaine in Detroit for nearly seven years, Kubiak noticed many of the women she was working with struggled with unacknowledged behavioral issues, keeping them locked in a cycle that was often difficult to break free from. “I found out then that the vast majority of people who are coming out into the community (from corrections facilities), or are involved in the criminal/legal system, have behavioral health issues that they are trying to find their way through. What happens is, a lot of times, that behavior gets misinterpreted as ‘bad behavior’ or ‘illegal behavior,' and then they get wrapped up in a system they can't get out of,” Kubiak says. Now the Dean of the Wayne State University School of Social Work, Kubiak is the founding director of the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice (CBHJ) — an initiative that provides research, evaluations, training and support to local communities, behavioral health, and law enforcement agencies, and other organizations in Michigan related to jail diversion, re-entry, crisis response and more.
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Jail vending machine provides naloxone to discharged inmates

A jail in southeastern Michigan has a vending machine that dispenses kits designed to reverse the effects of opioid overdoses. Naloxone nasal rescue kits are available free of charge to inmates being discharged from the Oakland County Jail in Pontiac. As part of the release process, deputies advise discharged inmates they can take the kits for personal use or for a family member who may be dependent on opioids. The narcan project is through Wayne State University’s School of Social Work and its Center for Behavioral Health and Justice.