Jail-Based Overdose Prevention Education Specialist with NCHRC

Jail-Based Overdose Prevention Education Specialist, 20 hours weekly

Location:

Catawba County, North Carolina (1 position) 

Agency Description:

North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition (NCHRC) is a statewide grassroots organization dedicated to the implementation of harm reduction interventions, public health strategies, drug policy transformation, and justice reform in North Carolina and throughout the American South. NCHRC engages in grassroots advocacy, resource and policy development, coalition building, and direct services for law enforcement and people impacted by drug use, incarceration, sex work, overdose, gender, HIV and hepatitis.

Project Description:

This is a grant funded project with funding for 1.5 years. The “Jail Based Opioid Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution Program” is an initiative to introduce an overdose prevention program to several jails consisting of weekly overdose education trainings to individuals identified as being at risk for overdose upon exit. 

Individuals with substance use histories that experience a period of incarceration have an increased risk of overdose upon re-entering the community. Providing incarcerated individuals with overdose prevention messages and access to naloxone upon release to the community is an innovative way to reduce fatal and non-fatal overdose post-release. This project seeks to accomplish increasing knowledge and attitudes of overdose reversal, naloxone use, and harm reduction strategies among individuals and their networks at risk of an overdose; increase access to naloxone kits; increase knowledge of community resources; and decrease drug-related crime. This is also a research project and will require data collection.

Description of Duties: 

Provide harm reduction and overdose prevention to the jail-based population. Topics include: 

  • Syringe exchange law, 
  • Good Samaritan/naloxone access law, 
  • Tell an Officer law, 
  • How to prevent and reverse opioid overdose, 
  • How to prevent and respond to overamping/stimulant overdose, 
  • Education on safer drug use and safer sex, and
  • STI/HIV/hepatitis prevention education 
  • Accessing local resources
  • Work with individuals exiting the jail setting to create individualized, person-centered, harm reduction based linkage-to-care plans
  • Provide referrals to medication assisted treatment, detox, and other substance use treatment services as needed
  • Provide referrals to healthcare, housing, and other social services as needed
  • Collaborate with existing community partners to create low-threshold pathways for participants to enroll in medication assisted treatment or harm reduction services
  • Create new partnerships with service providers
  • Participate in regular training calls or in person training sessions on best practices
  • Work with jail facility staff to ensure the program goals and objectives are carried out in a way that is non-disruptive to the environment
  • Adhere to all jail facility rules and regulations

Data Collection

  • Facilitate the completion of pre and post surveys to each jail-based class presented and work with project staff to submit data
  • Log all project activities weekly into the agency Activity Sheet 
  • Track all data meticulously and punctually report all training and linkage-to-care events and contacts to supervisor
  • Attend in-house workshops and training seminars for NCHRC staff as well as external training as assigned

Respect and Confidentiality

  • Be culturally aware and respectful of people who use drugs, people who do sex work, people living with HIV or HCV, currently and formerly incarcerated people, and the LGBTQ community
  • Maintain strict confidentiality and treat all participants non-judgmentally and with warmth and positive regard. 

Experience:

Must have at least one year of experience working one-on-one with clients in a peer support or linkage-to-care role. Must be comfortable with harm reduction framework. Must be comfortable in a jail setting and working with jail staff. Must be comfortable with public speaking and group presentations. Knowledge about Hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, injection drug use, syringe exchange, STIs, and substance use is required. Must be comfortable discussing social, sexual, drug-related, and other harm reduction issues and experiences in a non-judgmental manner with both individuals and groups. Must demonstrate strong communication skills and an ability to thrive while working autonomously.  Must be able to work flexible hours, including evenings. People who are HIV/hepatitis positive, have a history of drug use, sex work, or incarceration are strongly encouraged to apply. 

To Apply:

Send Resume and Cover Letter (1/2 page max) to Shelisa Howard-Martinez, NCHRC’s Executive Director, at executive.director@gmail.com.

NCHRC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. People of color, the LGBTQI community, and individuals who have personal experience with drug use, sex work, HIV, HCV, and incarceration are strongly encouraged to apply.