Law Enforcement & Corrections
Prison and jail systems offer unique opportunities to intervene with a population very much at risk for opioid use and overdose. Annually, nearly 6,000 inmates at the Philadelphia Department of Prisons (PDP) county jail struggle with an opioid use disorder (OUD). A local study found that this population is 5.3 times more likely to have a fatal drug-related overdose upon release than non-incarcerated persons. Traditionally, correctional systems, including PDP, have offered cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as part of abstinence-based substance use disorder (SUD) treatment programs.
In Fall 2018, PDP expanded its SUD treatment program to further reduce OUD and overdose. This expansion included: (1) continuation of abstinence-based treatment; (2) continued offering of methadone maintenance for those in active methadone treatment prior to incarceration; (3) education of all inmates and visitors about OUD and the use of naloxone; (4) provision of a prescription for naloxone to every inmate upon release; (6) distribution of naloxone kits to all opioid-addicted inmates upon release, and (7) initiation of a buprenorphine program for OUD patients not maintained on methadone.
As of January 2019, approximately 110 naloxone kits are being given every week to OUD patients upon release. About 90% of OUD patients not maintained on methadone are choosing to participate in the buprenorphine program, and 85% of eligible men. Half of the men and women in the buprenorphine program participate in CBT. PDP helps all buprenorphine program patients identify a community medication assisted treatment provider to turn to after release and makes post-release appointments with these sites for sentenced patients. PDP also offers to enroll patients in medical assistance prior to release. Early program data suggests that more than 40% of those issued bridge orders for suboxone on release filled those orders, and slightly more than 50% obtained behavioral health/substance abuse care in the community after release. PDP and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health will track outcomes of the inmates who received services (treatment and/or naloxone) to assess the impact of this campaign.
This session is accredited for the following accreditation types: CME, CNE, CPE, APA, AAFP, AAHCPAD*, NAADAC*, ASWB,* GA Bar, GA POST.
*State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit.