Prisons Are Fueling:The Opioid-Drugs Epidemic
A Vox article by German Lopez revealed;
“When an inmate addicted to opioids is released from prison, his chances of a fatal overdose are massively elevated: According to a 2007 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, former inmates’ risk of a fatal drug overdose is 129 times as high as it is for the general population during the two weeks after release. Other studies have backed this up, putting the increased risk of overdose death in the tens of times or above 100 times.”
The opiate epidemic is directly involved with our mass incarceration crisis. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University reported in 2010 that “of the 2.3 million inmates crowding our nations prisons and jails, 1.5 million meet the DSM-IV medical criteria for substance abuse or addiction, and another 458,000, while not meeting the strict DSM-IV criteria, had histories of substance abuse.
According to most addiction experts, there are three medications, buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone, which significantly reduces death for opioid addiction patients, and is important in maintaining individuals in treatment.
The Vox article revealed that almost all state prisons are not providing any of the three crucial medications for combating opioid abuse. The state prisons do not want to pay for the medications, and do not fully understand the enormity of the opioid crisis.
By not treating inmates in prison, who are addicted to opioids, you increase the chance for drug overdoses in prison. Furthermore there are increased overdose deaths for released opioid addicted inmates.
Only Rhode Island reported providing, all three kinds of medications for their inmates. Although Rhode Island’s program is relatively new, a study reported that deaths among Rhode Island released inmates declined more than fifty percent.
Opioids, are part of the drug abuse crisis, affecting nationally our jails and prisons. Thousands of inmates nationwide, suffer from substance abuse, and do not receive treatment for their addictions. Often their offenses were directly or indirectly caused by their addictions.
We cannot ignore that our prisons and jails are part of the opioid epidemic.
By: Bradley Schwartz
Founder of prisonpath.com
Duh….when an active addict is imprisoned, I think they are immediately put on medication, either methadone or Suboxone…I know lots of nurses working in prisions despensing needed medications. What I’m not sure of is what those “needed” meds are. To my knowledge prision takes away some freedoms, liike our “wants” vs our “needs”.
Actually, in many jails and prisons, addicts are not placed on medication. That is part of the problem.
Oh, ok. Like I said lots of stuff I wasn’t sure of. I do know they employ nurses, and sometimes those nurses give medications to a list of prisioners. Some have given methadone or subaoxone. I guess the thing is which city/state that prison in
Right, there are jails and prisons placing the inmates on appropriate medications, but studies have revealed that many do not give the needed medications for addicted inmates.
The guards, who flex their muscles at all times, and for the most part are power-hungry douchebags, are CONTINUOUSLY looking for a reason to accuse an inmate of “cheeking” their meds, or abusing their meds, so they are cut off cold turkey. Too many have died in jail due to withdrawal…dehydration being a major factor. Ignored signs of distress are another. The fact that DOC and P & P consider tossing people in jail, with no treatment or rehabilitation, only to let them go and create the revolving door that is prison, speaks volumes. Because in reality, there’s this…if it… Read more »
When I was in prison in TN you can get anything you want within 5 minutes.
Um take it from someone who’s been there, they dobt give you anything. Ive seen someone die from dehydration because they couldnt hold down any fluids. Their medical decision was to give him water…which obviously did not work
This is very valid I can relate as prisons do nothing to rehabilitate a inmate unless he wants to be. A prison is a storehouse of human degradation and misery. People being treated like animals in sub- human conditions.
They don’t give you anything. I’m a methadone patient and they wouldn’t even give me my prescribed dose! Luckily I was out in a day and a half, but I’ve had friends who take methadone they’ll go like a month with no sleep and lose a ton of weight.
This is a ploy to get tax payers to fund suboxone to inmates. That’s all. The ones profiting from suboxone are promoting this. When have you ever know the government to care about inmates.
Adrienne—You can die from alcohol withdrawal you don’t die from drug withdrawal
“It is generally thought that opiate withdrawal is unpleasant but not life-threatening, but death can, and does, occur. The complications of withdrawal are often underestimated and monitored inadequately.” Same for other drugs as well.
Xanax withdrawal can be fatal as well.
I wish I would have kept my mouth shut.
No They should be hospitalized.