Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to footer

Health & Wellness

Groups Provide Backpacks To Support Recovery

The Oxford County Sheriff’s Office has partnered with the Larry Labonte Recovery Center (LLRC) and Oxford County Mental Health Service’s (OCMHS) OPTIONS program on a new initiative to support people when they are released from the Oxford County Jail. The office is distributing “harm reduction backpacks” to inmates upon release. These backpacks contain items such as Narcan, fentanyl test strips, local recovery resources and brochures that can connect people to services.

The staff of LLRC packed over 50 drawstring bags with information and items. LLRC collaborated with the OPTIONS program and other community partners to buy backpacks, obtain naloxone and other items for the packs.Lt. Kate Armstrong from Oxford County Jail said, “People leaving the jail often feel lonely and may have little in the way of social supports when they leave the jail. They may be facing challenges of housing, employment and an exposure to the same environment and drug use immediately.”“The mission of LLRC is to provide no cost support, recovery coaching and resource information, reduce stigma and provide a safe environment in the community for people to discuss their challenges with substance use, acquire naloxone and find a path to recovery,” said LLRC Director Kathie Williams. “We hope the packs will provide resources that encourage people to reach out to us or other community organizations like Project SaveME.”“I think it would be hard to argue that the recidivism rate at the jail is a result of getting right back into an environment where people are using substances all around them. It makes recovery a real challenge.” said Glenn Gordon from Oxford County Mental Health Services. “There is also a real danger upon release from jail of overdose. The physical tolerance for someone using opiates decrease after going through withdrawal. The decreased tolerance means increased risk of overdose.”The Oxford County Jail reopened in September 2021. The jail houses up to 40 inmates.