An estimated 65% of all offenders meet the criteria for substance use disorder (SUD), and only 11% receive any treatment (CASA, 2009). When people with SUD are incarcerated, their tolerance is lowered. This decrease in tolerance increases these individuals’ risk of overdose upon release. Criminal justice professionals witness substance use issues in the corrections system and as first responders, making them vital partners in preventing overdoses and overdose deaths.
Please use the resources below to learn more about overdose, overdose reversal and overdose prevention as these issues relate to the criminal justice system. The information is intended for a broad audience including individuals involved with the criminal justice system and their families, police officers, corrections staff, and lawyers.
Empowering Individuals and Families
Substance Use Disorders and Overdoses
- Substance Use Disorders and Overdose: The Basics, a presentation from OverdoseFreePA to help you learn more about substance use disorders, overdose and recovery
- Drugs, Brains, and Behavior, an overview of how we understand addiction through the lens of science
- Recognizing an Overdose (and Knowing How to Help), a PowerPoint presentation on overdose recognition and response
- Overdose Prevention and The Good Samaritan Law, a detailed video developed by the Westmoreland Drug and Alcohol Commission
- Medical and Psychiatric Complications of Commonly Used Drugs, an in-depth look at the effects of commonly used drugs on the body and mind
- Signs and Symptoms of Substance Abuse, an informative and detailed video developed by the Westmoreland Drug and Alcohol Commission
- Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs, an informative slideshow with images of commonly abused prescription drugs with their street names and descriptions of their side effects
- Prescription Drug Abuse Facts, an informative slideshow providing basic facts about prescription drug abuse
- Synthetic Marijuana, a page created to provide information and resources about Synthetic Marijuana.
- Drugs of Abuse, a video developed by the Westmoreland Drug and Alcohol Commission, describing the categories of drugs that are most commonly abused.
- Drug Identification, another video developed by the Westmoreland Drug and Alcohol Commission, explaining how to identify some of the most common illegal drugs.
Law Enforcement Education
- Medicine Abuse Project, a collection of resources specifically for those in law enforcement to help communities combat the overdose epidemic
- Law Enforcement Naloxone Toolkit, a web resource to help law enforcement professionals learn more about naloxone, provided by the Bureau of Justice’s National Training and Technical Assistance Center
- Pennsylvania Department of Health, Community Health Districts, an announcement by the Pennsylvania Department of Health detailing the recently announced Pennsylvania ABC-MAP Program.
- Addressing Opioid Overdose with Community-based Education and Naloxone Rescue Kits
- District Attorney's Crime Prevention Strategy as it Relates to Substance Abuse, a presentation by Kevin McCarthy, the Assistant District Attorney of Allegheny County, presented during the Summer 2014 Allegheny County Overdose Prevention Coalition conference
- Interactive Reentry Services Map, a service provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Justice to help offenders find resources upon reentry.
- DEA 360 Strategy The Drug Enforcement Administration's comprehensive approach to tackling the cycle of drug trafficking, drug violence, and drug abuse.
- How to detect an overdose, a collection of visual guides to help you or your clients identify and respond to overdoses
- Five Essential Steps for First Responders, a more detailed guide on how to respond to an overdose from SAMHSA, the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- Addiction Treatment Forum Events, a listing of current webinars and training related to addiction treatment
- The Official Vivitrol Site, information on Vivitrol for patients and healthcare professionals
- Providers’ Clinical Support System For Medication Assisted Treatment, a wide variety of trainings related to medication-assisted treatment
- Medication Assisted Treatment, a page developed to provide various informational resources about Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT).
- Recovery from Addiction, a video developed by the Westmoreland Drug and Alcohol Commission
Empowering Individuals and Families
Legal and Safety Advice
- Act 53 Explained, a page from the Allegheny County website that describes Act 53, an act that allows families or guardians of minor children to commit them involuntarily to drug and alcohol treatment.
- Safety Advice for Patients & Family Members, a PDF brochure from SAMHSA provided detailed advice on opioid safety and overdose prevention
- Know Your Rights, a PDF brochure from SAMHSA brochure detailing the rights of persons in recovery from substance use disorders who are on medication-assisted treatment Links for Families
- Get Smart Pittsburgh, a website developed by the DEA, providing informational resources for parents, caregivers and educators.
- Empowering the Family and Engaging the Community to Prevent Overdose
- The Jonathan Morelli Story, a website dedicated to educating families about the prevalence and devastation of drug addiction.
- The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, an online resource for parents and families that provides education, information and tips on how to talk to kids and teens about drug use
- Parents and Addiction, an informational video developed by the Westmoreland Drug and Alcohol Commission