Suncoast: Expansion of Medication Assisted Treatment Services at the Charlotte County Jail – Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office
Francesco Abbruzzino, The Uncensored Report, LLC
In April of 2018, the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, Corizon Health Services, and Charlotte Behavioral Health Care joined into an agreement to provide Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) services to inmates incarcerated within the Charlotte County Jail. The MAT service has focused on individuals who are opiate dependent and initially introduced Vivitrol, which is a medication that blocks the effects of opioids and helps stop the feeling or urge to take opioids. The MAT services help prepare inmates for successful re-entry into the community by addressing current medical needs and the underlying substance use disorders.
We are proud to announce that starting in November 2021, an expansion of treatment options is now available for the inmate population. High success rate medication options, such as injectable Buprenorphine are being added for consideration. Individuals identified as possible candidates for the MAT program are referred to the program and screened by the licensed providers. The screening helps determine not only that the inmate is medically and psychologically appropriate, but also which of the MAT medication options may be most beneficial for a positive outcome. Participants are also provided community treatment plan services that provide individual, group, or family counseling upon release through Charlotte Behavioral Health Care.
“Addiction is an illness, but one that can be treated. I have seen it destroy individuals, families, and communities. Our goal is to help them get on the road to recovery and stop the revolving jail door for individuals who are suffering from substance use disorders. By expanding the MAT options, we can help better address this complex problem and give additional resources for successful treatment outcomes.”
SHERIFF BILL PRUMMELL
“MAT’s treatment approach combines a comprehensive, individually tailored program of medication and behavioral therapy that address the needs of most patients struggling with addiction. MAT medications work to normalize brain chemistry, block the euphoric effects of alcohol and opiates, and relieve cravings. It has been shown to help increase retention in treatment, sustain recovery and prevent and reduce opioid overdoses. When we can begin MAT treatment before individuals are released, it helps to set them up for success as they return to the community and face the stressors of day to day life. The bottom line is that MAT saves lives.”
SARAH WRIGHT, MSW, LCSW, COO (CHARLOTTE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CARE)
The goal of this plan is to help prepare the inmates and expedite the delivery of medication services prior to their re-entering into the community. By identifying and screening the inmate prior to release and providing the medication prior to re-entry, the inmate can more effectively be prevented from further opioid use and remain in longer term treatment and ultimately reduce recidivism back into incarceration.