Today, Wellpath announced that Durham County, North Carolina began Phase One of their Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) program in collaboration with multiple county programs on September 2, 2019. Phase One allows patients who come into the facility for short-term stays to continue their MAT regimen in lieu of clinical withdrawal.
This marks the first step in Durham County’s integration of a new MAT program they were selected to participate in earlier this year.
“As the maintainer of detainees here in Durham County, we look forward participating in this program where our office will learn national best practices to expand the treatment for opioid use disorder among inmates,” said Durham County Sheriff Clarence F. Birkhead. “Early intervention is key, and our partnership with Wellpath will go a long way to augment opioid addiction treatment programs for inmates housed at the Durham County Detention Center.”
The program has served twelve patients in Durham County so far, all of whom have been released. Phase Two, which will initiate the MAT program for all inmates identified with opioid use disorder (OUD), is set to begin in the first quarter of 2020.
“We are excited about our MAT program because we believe that it will help save lives by preventing overdoses.” said Shonicia Jones, a Wellpath Health Services Administrator at the Durham County Detention Center.
Durham County is one of 15 jurisdictions across the United States participating in the “Planning Initiative to Build Bridges Between Jail and Community-Based Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder.” This program seeks to help the tens of thousands of people with opioid use disorders who pass through the U.S. corrections system each year through counseling and behavioral therapies. The program is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, and Arnold Ventures, a national philanthropy headquartered in Houston, Texas. It currently operates in thirteen states across the country, including Oregon, Montana, Minnesota, Louisiana, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, New Jersey, and Maine.
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