Thursday, June 30, 2022

Play

The Supreme Court weakens Miranda rights protections, a campaign gathers signatures to start a consumer-owned utility in Maine, and the Jan. 6 Committee subpoenas former White House counsel Pat Cipollone.

Play

Immigration advocates criticize border policies after migrants die in a tractor-trailer, the U.S. opens a permanent headquarters for U.S. forces in Poland, and a House committee hears about growing housing inequity.

Play

From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

ME Expands Medication-Assisted Treatment for People in Prison

Play

Wednesday, February 24, 2021   

AUGUSTA, Maine - The Maine Department of Corrections is expanding its program for medication-assisted treatment of opioid addiction to any person in jail or prison who medically qualifies.

In 2019, the department launched a pilot program with 100 participants, and has been slowly phasing it into more facilities. Research has shown that medication-assisted treatment can reduce cravings, which allows people to engage in counseling and treatment more effectively.

Corrections Commissioner Randall Liberty said they expect to treat up to 600 people once the program is fully implemented.

"Substance-use disorder is a disease," he said, "and the gold standard - to treat that and really provide the best care we can for the citizens of the state of Maine - is to provide medication-assisted treatment, and that means on the outside and on the inside."

More Mainers died of overdoses in January than in any month last year. Advocates of the program have called it a step in the right direction, but emphasized the need to get people into treatment rather than into jail or prison in the first place. Oregon recently became the first U.S. state to decriminalize possession of small amounts of illegal drugs; it's now a civil violation, with a fine and court-ordered therapy.

People who've returned to their communities after being incarcerated are far more likely to die of an opioid overdose than the general population. Liberty noted that the harm caused by addiction can be multigenerational, as whole families often are affected. He said those are some of the factors that have pushed the treatment program forward.

"Those individuals that have been in our care during the pilot phase of our program have had reduced cravings, reducing anxiety, increased interest in recovery," he said.

Liberty said rolling out the program also marks a culture shift in corrections because of misconceptions about using medication in recovery. However, he added, continuing discussions and education with staff and partners have made him optimistic about the program's future.


get more stories like this via email

Proponents of a consumer-owned utility say as Maine works to improve the power grid, it is important to hold power companies in the state accountable. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A campaign in Maine is gathering signatures to replace the state's investor-owned energy grid with a consumer-owned utility. Central Maine Power (…


Social Issues

Another important U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month has been overshadowed by the controversy about overturning abortion rights. Legal experts say …

Social Issues

By Sarah Melotte for The Daily Yonder.Broadcast version by Eric Galatas for Colorado News Connection for the Public News Service/Daily Yonder Collabor…


Some political experts are now describing the January 6th Congressional hearings as the biggest political scandal in American history. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The nation still is dissecting revealing testimony from this week's committee hearing on the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. A top White …

Social Issues

Students may be settled into their summer break - but in Minnesota, some remain focused on setting a peaceful tone ahead of their return to school …

The state is verifying signatures submitted by Nevada Voters First to get the ranked-choice-voting/open primary proposal on the ballot. (Cesar Marquez)

Social Issues

A proposal to change the way Nevada votes is one step closer to getting on the November ballot after the State Supreme Court rejected a legal challeng…

Social Issues

A new coalition of businesses and nonprofits in West Virginia is ready to create at least 3,000 new green industry jobs. They say they just need the …

Environment

As Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin pushes forward on plans to withdraw the Commonwealth from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021