Tuesday, November 26, 2019
Atlantic County has been awarded more than $485,000 for services to support a new in-house opioid treatment facility at the county jail as part of an expansion of its Medication Assistance Treatment initiative. These new services will include Peer to Peer Recovery and case management for up to 800 inmates.
“We continue to find innovative ways to address the opioid epidemic and provide treatment opportunities for inmates who want to turn their lives around,” stated County Executive Dennis Levinson. “Atlantic County is committed to breaking the cycle of addiction and helping our residents live productive lives.”
Atlantic County recently renovated a portion of the jail to provide an in-house patient dosing station, physical examination room, phlebotomy room and counseling office.
Levinson noted that nearly 80% of addicts released from jail are rearrested compared to just 45% of those who received treatment. “Why not treat them while we have them in our custody?”
Atlantic County implemented the first MAT program in the state for county jail inmates to help address the opioid epidemic with the use of a mobile dispensing unit that provides medications to addicts to help reduce drug withdrawal symptoms.
Due to its success, the state agreed to provide $8 million in funding for MAT programs at all county jails.