“For Dr. Ross Macdonald, every person who enters New York City’s main jail with an opioid addiction represents an opportunity for treatment, and the possibility of saving a life.
As the medical director of the city’s correctional health program, he ensures that offenders who come in on methadone continue to receive it. And he and his staff try to persuade as many addicted inmates as possible to get started on methadone before they leave the jail.
Rikers Island Correctional Facility has run a model opioid treatment program since 1987, and it has assisted tens of thousands of inmates in maintaining treatment after they return to their communities. Medical researchers have repeatedly found that the jail’s methadone treatment program has resulted in overall health care cost savings, reduced crime and recidivism, reduced HIV and hepatitis C transmission, and better than average rates of recovery from drug use.
But despite Rikers’ well documented success, few U.S. jails and prisons have emulated the program.”
Source: HuffingtonPost.com – May 23, 2016