Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute

Information Deficiency is a Barrier to Opioid Treatment in Prisons/Jails

Incarcerated male sitting on bench

Medications for opioid use disorder like buprenorphine and methadone have been linked to lower mortality rates. Despite their effectiveness, they are still underutilized for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals.

“Most jails are not providing our front-line treatment for opioid disorder,” said Mandy Owens, an ADAI research scientist who provides training to facilities and works to break down the information gap between medical professionals and law enforcement.

This article in the UW Daily describes a study led by ADAI principal research scientist Caleb Banta-Green that explored ways in which intervention in opioid substance use could continue for incarcerated individuals after their release from prison. Participants in the study who went through the “treatment decision making intervention” were more likely to take medication for opioid use disorder upon release. Read more about this study here.

Read the UW Daily article