A treatment program for Newport News jail inmates trying to recover from addiction has new help for follow-up community care, in partnership with the jail’s health care provider.
The jail last year launched a medication assisted treatment program, through which it offers inmates a shot of medicine that blocks the effect of drugs or alcohol, in combination with counseling. The program also offers help finding a job and place to live after participants leave the jail.
Now, Wellpath, which provides medical care to inmates, has opened a community care center in which former inmates can get follow up medication and counseling.
“It’s so people who need a bit of helping hand in their recovery can get it,” said city Sheriff Gabe Morgan. “This gives people an opportunity to recover in the community, to remain connected with family and supports — that’s big, that’s big,” Morgan said. The center is on the 11000 block of Warwick Boulevard, to be convenient to public transit, he said. “This is just one layer of this community trying to do something different,” to tackle addiction, mental health and recidivism, Morgan said.
And while Hampton Roads Regional Jail is working on launching a similar medication assisted treatment program in its facility, the new Wellpath center means it has a place to refer people from the Peninsula for counseling and medication assisted treatment when they leave its facility, said superintendent Jeff Vergakis.