February 23, 2023
On February 22, 2023, Dr. Rahul Gupta, Director of the White House National Office of Drug Control Policy, announced that medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for substance use disorders would be made available at all federal correctional facilities.
Dr. Gupta spoke at the Camden County Jail, the place from which the policy will be modeled, after successful implementation of a MAT program since 2018. The federal policy will enable states to apply for waivers to allow for treatment of inmates beginning 90 days before their scheduled release dates.
"The point here is that we know that 60% to 80% of people behind walls have a diagnosis of use disorder. And when they're released . . . they're 40 times more likely to die immediately or have a high rate of recidivism," said Dr. Gupta. "If you treat them and connect them to resources and treatment in the community upon release, you're not only stabilizing people, but you're setting them up for success."
According to a White House Fact Sheet, "By this summer, the Federal Bureau of Prisons will ensure that each of their 122 facilities are equipped and trained to provide in-house medication-assisted treatment."
As reported in today's publication of The Star-Ledger, Dr. Gupta has also announced that correctional facilities would be able to utilize Medicaid funds to supplement MAT for inmates.
Click here to read more on this story.