The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently awarded $53 million in funding to 44 states, four tribes, and Washington, DC, to address the opioid epidemic, including $11 million for 11 states to expand Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), an evidence-based treatment option used in combination with counseling and social support. MAT has been shown to ease withdrawal symptoms and decrease the risk of relapse and overdose. In many states and local jurisdictions, public health and law enforcement officials are partnering to implement MAT programs to treat justice-involved individuals battling addiction.
To highlight work happening in correctional facilities and the community, and to facilitate peer learning, the CSG Justice Center hosted a webinar in July featuring jurisdictions using MAT in criminal justice settings.
In Texas, the state Commission on Jail Standards and Department of State Health Services (DHS) partner to implement comprehensive care coordination and education for women who are pregnant and involved in the justice system, 400 of whom are detained in Texas county jails each month. To address opioid addiction in this population, county jails provide referrals to DHS services and DHS conducts outreach to the women while they’re incarcerated, providing Methadone, counseling, and education services where needed.
Washington County, Maryland, also developed a collaborative approach between the Health Department, the local correctional facility, Conmed Health Care Management, Inc., and the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Administration. The county’s MAT program builds on existing treatment services and includes risk and needs assessments, trauma-informed parenting guidance, and care coordination. Through this partnership, behavioral health clinicians utilize telemedicine and site visits in detention centers to issue Vivitrol MAT when appropriate.
To learn more about MAT, please see:
- SAMHSA’s compilation of MAT resources
- Prison/Jail Medication Assisted Treatment Manual from Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) Training and Technical Assistance
- Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction in the Criminal Justice Context: An Implementation Briefing for Community Supervision from Great Lakes Addiction Technology Transfer Center and Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC)
- The Office of National Drug Control Policy’s webinar on MAT Programs for Justice Involved Populations