Study On Opioids, Criminal Justice System Highlights Need To Have Law Enforcement Engaged In Fighting Crisis
Although a large number of people who have a substance abuse disorder are in the system, most jails and prisons don't offer medication-assisted treatment. The study's author urges alternatives to incarceration for people with addictions. "We need a response that will ideally prevent people from entering the criminal justice system," he says. News on the epidemic comes out of Tennessee and Massachusetts, as well.
Greater Opioid Use Linked To Higher Chance Of Arrests, Criminal Convictions
People addicted to prescription opioids or heroin are far more likely to have run-ins with the law than those who don't use opioids, according to a study published Friday in JAMA Network Open. The study provides the first nationwide estimate for the number of people using opioids who end up in the American criminal justice system. The results suggest a need to engage law enforcement officials and corrections systems to tackle the opioid epidemic. (Chatterjee, 7/6)
U. Of Tenn. Medical Center Admits Drug Addicted Patients Under Strict Conduct Rules
Almost a year ago, the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville started requiring addicted patients admitted for medical treatment of drug-use associated infections to submit to tough new conduct rules. They must agree to a search by security, turn over their clothing and all personal property, hand over their cellphone, not leave the hospital floor, and receive no visitors. If they won't sign an agreement to follow those rules, they must leave. (Meyer, 7/7)
Addicted People Often End Up In Jail. And That Can Be Deadly For Them.
In Massachusetts, 26 advocacy and health care groups, including the Massachusetts Medical Society and Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association, have joined a coalition pushing the Legislature to require jails and prisons to provide the medications for opioid addiction to inmates. These medications ease cravings, prevent overdoses, and help people stay in treatment. (Freyer, 7/9)