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opioid addiction major problem in prison

Washington County Approves Opiates for Inmates

Two weeks into January this year the Washington state Heath Care Authority approved a contractual agreement with Jefferson County commissioners that will initiate the county jail as a medical care facility for inmates suffering from opiate dependency.

This agreement also facilitates the Olympic Peninsula Health Services (OPHS) to provide services for opiate addicts, and will reimburse the county around half a million dollars to be used for the provision of opiate-addiction treatment at Jefferson County Jail.

OPHS will help the state by providing education and care navigation for individuals, as well as access to a medication-assisted program of treatment, and Medicaid if eligible.

“Through our screening process, if we identify someone who has opiate use disorder, if they screen as a candidate that could benefit from this program, we will induct them into the program,” said jail superintendent David Fortino. “That means we will provide them with an antagonist or an agonist medication. They will establish care with a care navigator. Then they will continue that treatment while they’re incarcerated.”

Inmates Struggle on a Daily Basis with Opioid Addiction

On any average day, the jail witnesses a handful of people who are struggling with their addiction to opioids. Though this initiative once someone is identified as one who requires help, the inmate will be transported directly from jail to a secure medical facility.

Often opioid addicts commit crime in order to gain the money to buy opioids, or they steal opioids directly. When caught, they are sentenced and then sent to the county jail, where opioids are not available. The addicts then begin to go through the agonies of opioid withdrawal.

Government officials hope that this program will not only directly help opioid-addicted inmates, but will also enable such inmates to recover from their opioid addiction completely hence breaking the cycle of addiction and associated criminal activity. This initial contract will expire at the end of September 2019, but already county administrator Philip Morley has expressed a desire to negotiate a further contract in the future.

“I think it behooves us to try to decrease these complications of systems and silos that keep people from getting into treatment,” said county commissioner David Sullivan. “Each one of these people is an individual who has their own medical and social situation that they bring forward. It’s a critical time where we can do something that makes sense for the people and for the community.”

Washington County Program Good News for those Who Are Incarcerated and Suffer From Opioid Addiction

In 2017 there were around 70,000 deaths from opioid addiction. Anything that helps reduce that number has got to be viewed as being a positive step.

If you or someone you love is dealing with the pain of opioid addiction, realize that help is available. At Advanced Rapid Detox, we’ve helped countless individuals break free from addiction through our comprehensive rapid opiate detox. Feel free to reach out to our team of medical experts today at (800) 603-1813 to learn more about our unique approach to opiate detox.