The Miriam Hospital receives Telly Award for opioid overdose instructional video

The Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights at The Miriam Hospital receives Telly Award for opioid overdose instructional video

“Staying Alive on the Outside” accompanied intervention testing OD prevention among those soon to be released from prison – R.I. up to 30 opioid deaths a month

(PROVIDENCE, R.I.)
– The 35th Telly Awards has named The Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights at The Miriam Hospital a 2014 Online Video Bronze Telly Award winner for the piece, “Staying Alive on the Outside.” The award is for excellence in video and television.

The 19-minute instructional video on how to prevent, identify signs of, and respond to opioid overdose was part of an intervention for individuals within 30 days of release from incarceration who reported using drugs and/or having family or friends who are active drug users. The individuals were provided naloxone at release.

“It is important to focus on individuals leaving incarceration who report using drugs themselves and/or having family or friends who are active drug users, because overdose is the primary reason for deaths post release,” said Josiah Rich, M.D., MPH, director of the Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights at The Miriam Hospital and principal investigator of the study. “Individuals released from incarceration face an especially high risk of overdose and overdose death, particularly in the first few weeks after coming home.” Along with Traci Green, Ph.D., M.Sc, of the Department of Emergency Medicine and the Rhode Island Hospital Injury Prevention Center, the research team worked with a documentary filmmaker, former inmates, and family and friends of overdose victims to create the video.

The Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights, based in The Miriam Hospital's Division of Infectious Diseases, seeks to advance the health and human rights of prisoners and other populations through research, education and advocacy. Studies conducted in the U.S. and around the world have consistently shown that individuals released from incarceration are at immediate and extremely high risk of death by overdose after release, compared to the general population.

“Staying Alive on the Outside,” funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, featured peer-led training, modeling of naloxone administration, and interviews. It was developed through a review of existing overdose-prevention resources, expert consultation with prison and jail staff, and focus groups with individuals similar to those who would be shown the video as part of an intervention. A DVD of the video is currently being used to accompany an intervention in several prisons and jails and is publicly available to view online at prisonerhealth.org and other websites focused on promoting harm reduction.  The story of its creation appeared online last month in a new, scientific publication: the Health Education Journal: “Development of an incarceration specific overdose prevention video: Staying Alive on the Outside.”

“Opioid addiction affects so many communities,” said Green. “Premature death by overdose hurts families, communities, and robs people of the chance to experience surviving their addiction.  By watching the video, people can learn to protect themselves and others by recognizing the signs of overdose and learning how to administer naloxone to reverse it.  Staying Alive on the Outside sets a new standard, and we are delighted to receive recognition for the DVD.”

Rich and Green are credited with joining with others to spearhead a Rhode Island “collaborative practice agreement” allowing anyone to walk into a Rhode Island Walgreens and obtain naloxone (or Narcan) and training on how to use it. Recently, The Miriam joined with Rhode Island and Newport hospitals to launch a program to help combat the opioid overdose epidemic, including emergency department-based overdose prevention and response education and distribution of intra-nasal naloxone rescue kits to overdose patients and their families.  Patients view pertinent highlights and instructional portions of “Staying Alive on the Outside” as part of this effort.