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Program to help those with opioid addiction implemented at Dane Co. Jail

April 12, 2022

By Juliana Tornabene, WMTV Channel 15 Madison

A new program launched Tuesday at the Dane County Jail will help those with opioid addiction.

Dane County Sheriff Kalvin Barrett announced the implementation of the Medication Assistance Treatment program, which will offer people care when they enter the jail if they are currently on a MAT program in the community.

Sheriff Barrett explained that in the past, residents have not been able to continue these treatments which hinders the recovery progress. “A large number of people entering our jail system are suffering from various forms of addiction,” Barrett said. “The ability to offer this medication program and help maintain someone’s sobriety is a huge step in reducing recidivism and improving public safety.”

Nurses will administer prescription drug Subutex to inmates, which is used to reduce use of illegal opioids. Drugs like Subutex can help reduce the risk of death and reduce recidivism, explained Dr. Elizabeth Salisbury-Afshar.

“As an addiction medicine physician, I am so happy to hear that the Dane County Jail will be supporting people with opioid use disorder to continue their life-saving medications while incarcerated,” Dr. Salisbury-Afshar said. “Medications for opioid use disorder help people to stop using illicit opioids, improve health, reduce risk of death, and increase retention in treatment.”

Jail administrators and medical staff will look to expand the program as it goes on.

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