The Wall Street Journal Highlights Allegany’s Medication-Assisted Treatment Program

2019 medication-assisted treatment legislation takes shape and notice in Allegany County Detention Center.

In a piece earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal published an article discussing the efficacy of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in jails. Programs across the country were highlighted for varying degrees of success. Multiple inmates under supervision at the Allegany County Detention Center in Cumberland, MD discussed their circumstances and treatment.

One individual was offered treatment as an alternative to a 10-year maximum prison sentence. He mentioned the structure of the program provides a level of stability, creating an environment for him to get better. Another inmate discussed the ability to focus on rehabilitation since the medication helps reduce cravings, dangerous withdrawal, and anxiety. Additionally, these treatment programs in detention centers have been shown to help combat the increased likelihood of an overdose when an inmate is released after having gone through withdrawal.

Captain Dan Lasher at the Allegany County Sheriff’s office admitted to initial skepticism, but after time was able to see the benefits the program was providing. Reentry services at the jail connect recently released individuals with services in their community and have shown that 81 percent of individuals recently released are filling their prescriptions. Captain Lasher says it is still too early to see if the inmate treatment services are an effective jump-start to long-term recovery but time will tell.

This topic will be discussed with experts from around the state at MACo’s Winter Conference next week during the session, “Caring for the Incarcerated: Navigating Rehabilitation and Mental Health Reform.”

MACo’s Winter Conference, “Hit the Ground Running,” will be held at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, MD from January 4-6, 2023 (with a pre-conference orientation for new county officials on January 3).

Learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference: