While access to Medicated-Assisted Treatment (MAT) varies at private treatment centers, The Bureau of Prisons has begun to offer it at prisons across the United States. A report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) outlines seven ways steps for the BOP to take so they can organize their treatment for addicted inhttps://www.americanaddictionfoundation.com/getting-help/medication-assisted-treatment-mat/mates to make the programs universal. The programs will become standard in the justice system and maximizing inmate

Addiction in the Justice System

The GAO report lists several ways to meet the gap and help prisoners achieve long-term sobriety. MAT, therapy, and expanded access are considered important to the success of these programs.

Addiction treatment is incredibly important to keeping people from re-offending, and re-entering the justice system when released. A report from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse in 2010 estimated 1.5 million inmates (out of 2.3 inmates total) suffer from substance abuse addiction. In addition, 458,000 inmates either had histories of substance abuse. Many reported being high or drunk when they committed the offense that landed them in prison.

Plans For Expanding Prison-Based MAT Programs

The report offers suggestions in helping people recover from their addictions while incarcerated. Here are seven suggestions included in the report:

  1. Decide how many personnel are needed to be hired to assist in administering and monitoring Medication-Assisted Treatment.
  2. Create a plan for hiring qualified personnel to help with MAT.
  3. Create a deadline for having all resources available to begin MAT programs at each institution.
  4. Update program plans to prioritize MAT as a part of the prison or jail’s programs. Create a revised program plan based on staffing and budget.
  5. Begin administration of MAT once budget and personnel are in order. Identify specific activities and resources that will be necessary for treatment plans to work.
  6. Develop and document a plan for managing drug treatment programs within the prison, including education and MAT. The three should be coordinated with each other.
  7. Begin implementing the plan.

The report makes it clear that expanded access to drug treatment and MAT will become the norm in US prisons. This is an important step to help truly rehabilitate people in the justice system and begin to repair their lives from the harm addiction causes. It will also dramatically increase the success rate of long-term sobriety for addicted persons.