VADOC begins use of new drug to fight opioid addiction
Published 6:00 am Friday, April 2, 2021
The Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) has initiated the use of Buprenorphine in select Community Corrections Alternative Programs (CCAPs) to expand the department’s Medication Assisted Treatment Re-entry Initiative (MATRI) and provide an additional treatment option for probationers with opioid use disorder.
The Buprenorphine Pilot Program allows male probationers at Stafford and Brunswick CCAPs and female probationers at Chesterfield CCAP who are on Suboxone or other Buprenorphine products in the community or jail to continue Suboxone treatment in the CCAPs.
“We are excited to further grow the MATRI Program as we work to provide more pathways to success for inmates and probationers,” Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) Director Harold Clarke said. “The Buprenorphine Pilot Program allows CCAP probationers to participate without a pause in substance abuse treatment and hopefully complete the program with greater results.”
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The original MATRI program launched in 2018 and provided opioid addicted inmates releasing to designated locations with pre-release treatment utilizing naltrexone (Vivitrol) and post-release referral, treatment and support. In September of 2020, the program expanded to include additional release locations and pilot sites including all CCAP locations. Early results have shown the program to be successful at promoting recovery in motivated individuals.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) State Opioid Response (SOR) Grant, of which VADOC is a sub-recipient and partner with Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, makes this current expansion possible. The additional treatment option allows VADOC to better serve opioid-dependent probationers transferring from the community or local jails into Community Corrections Alternative Programs, which are sentencing options for those convicted of non-violent crimes that emphasize re-entry and transitional services.
“When a probationer transfers into one of the pilot sites already on a prescribed regimen of medication assisted treatment, we are now able to continue them on their medication,” Statewide MAT Coordinator Michael Fatula said. “In addition, we will continue to provide intensive substance use programming which leads to the best outcomes for probationers diagnosed with opioid use disorder.”
In addition to the Buprenorphine program expansion, VADOC continues to implement the Narcan/Naloxone take home initiative at the MATRI pilot sites, which provides individuals at risk for overdose with the necessary training and products to treat an opioid overdose. This program is also grant funded by SOR.