Recently, The Baltimore Sun’s Editorial Board championed making suboxone available to inmates in state prisons.
This past session a bill required all local jails and the Baltimore City Detention Center to make available FDA approved drug treatment (including suboxone, naltrexone, and methadone) to inmates by a date certain. It did not have the same requirement for state prisons.
The Board argues making the drug available in prisons will not only help those suffering from addiction but also may reduce the black market for the drug behind bars.
From The Sun:
Nearly 70 percent of people who are incarcerated in Maryland suffer from substance abuse or dependence, according to correctional department numbers. (There were about 7,400 people incarcerated in jails around Maryland last year and about 18,600 in state prisons.) With no access to drugs in prison, they are forced into a withdrawal that suboxone could help make more tolerable. Not only would it reduce cravings and suppress symptoms, such as vomiting and extreme nausea, but it would also help inmates with their addiction in a way that makes them less likely to turn back to drugs after release.
The editorial notes the state opposes having suboxone in the prisons as there are other programs including detox and vivitrol for inmates with substance use disorders, and that suboxone fuels a violent black market drug trade within the prisons that would not be halted by making it more available.
Learn more about how the local jails are preparing to implement this new policy at the 2019 MACo Summer Conference session, “MAT to the MAX” which will be held on Friday, August 16, from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm.
The MACo Summer Conference will be held August 14-17, 2019 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland. This year’s conference theme is “Winds of Change.”
Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference: