Officials at the Harford County Detention Center in Maryland plan to launch a new initiative early next year to help inmates maintain their sobriety after they are released.

An estimated 60 percent of the inmates at the detention center are addicted to opiates, and the average length of time an inmate spends at the facility is 45 days.

Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said the program would include peer support, reentry, and services like helping inmates find employment once they are released from the facility.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) stated that “jail or prison should be a place where people can get the help they need,” and urged offenders to ask for treatment. The agency added that research backs up the premise that substance use disorder treatment can help inmates change their beliefs and avoid relapse.

Prisons across the country are experimenting with medication-assisted treatment for inmates with a substance use disorder. State prisons in Kentucky, Missouri, Utah, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Colorado and West Virginia offer inmates Vivitrol, which is an injectable, extended-release form of naltrexone. The proposal, which would roll out nationwide if implemented, is based on a pilot program that was established two years ago in the province of Salta, Argentina.

Argentinian officials are considering implementing… (continue reading)