The study found that 56 percent of all decedents were incarcerated. That’s also something seen in other data sets across the country. And the data confirmed that decedents were at increased risk of death within 30 days after the date of release.
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A new study shows that by targeting people with opioid addiction who are leaving the state’s combined jail and prison, Rhode Island cut the death rate among this group by 61 percent within a year. Overall, between 2016 and 2017, the state saw a 12 percent decline in overdose deaths.
The risk is heightened for Native American women, who face a long history of oppression and abuse, turning to opioids as a form of pain management, and for women in rural areas, who have limited access to drug treatment programs, the experts said at a webinar organized by the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health.
Since 2014, local female inmates have gone to the Western Massachusetts Regional Women’s Correctional Center in Chicopee, where they did not get the same access to addiction treatment as the male inmates who get to stay in Greenfield.
A health department report estimates one site that sees around 2,000 people a year could prevent 24 to 76 overdose deaths. As many as 18 HIV infections and 213 Hepatitis C infections could be stopped as well, the report said.
A yet-to-be-released number of new state investigators would focus on opioid work, and 512 beds at a western Tennessee prison would be repurposed to help treat opioid addicts, doubling the number of those dedicated beds across the state prison system.
More affluent patients can avoid methadone clinics entirely, receiving a new treatment directly from a doctor’s office. Many poorer Hispanic and black individuals struggling with drug addiction must rely on highly regulated clinics, which they must visit daily.
We’re seeing thousands of overdose cases overwhelming hospital emergency rooms. With most of them, we’re treating the immediate life-threatening situation without taking steps to prevent their recurrence.
Terri White, commissioner of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, said about 9,000 people in Oklahoma used medication-assisted treatment last year, and as many as 14,000 could do so in the current fiscal year. People who receive that type of treatment are less likely to experience an overdose or commit crimes and more likely to keep a job, she said.
Sheriff Mark C. Curran, Jr. stated, “We know inmates with Substance Use Disorder have a high rate of relapse. Through this program, we hope to educate inmates on how to prevent overdoses and on the rehabilitative resources that are available. If they refrain from using during their first couple weeks out of jail, they may be more likely to seek help for their addiction.”