Tuesday, October 8, 2019
Atlantic County is planning to expand its Medication Assistance Treatment program at the county jail with a new opioid treatment service facility to provide a full array of medical, counseling and related services for inmates.
The Atlantic County Justice Facility implemented the first MAT program in the state for county jail inmates to help address the opioid epidemic. Addicts at the jail are able to receive medications that help reduce drug withdrawal symptoms from a mobile “Recovery on Wheels” dispensing unit.
“We were the first. And our program has been so successful, treating and providing referrals for more than 750 individuals, that the state has agreed to provide $8 million in funding for medication assisted treatment at all county jails,” stated Dennis Levinson, County Executive.
According to the John Brooks Center, the designated treatment provider for the Atlantic County jail, nearly 80% of addicts released from jail are rearrested compared to just 45% of those who received treatment.
“We now want to provide an in-house opioid treatment services facility that will include a patient dosing station, physical examination room, phlebotomy room and counseling office,” added Levinson.
Atlantic County renovated the jail to include the in-house facility and has applied for state funding for supporting services such as Peer to Peer Recovery and Case Management, among others.
“There are very few of us who have not been impacted by the opioid crisis,” Levinson said. “In Atlantic County we are taking steps to help these individuals get counseling and treatment and break the insidious cycle of addiction.”