The American Civil Liberties Union said it had reached a settlement with a federal prison in Kansas that had denied buprenorphine, an opioid addiction medication, to an inmate who the group said would “inevitably suffer and possibly die” without it.
The inmate, Leaman Crews, is set to receive the medication Wednesday night, Lauren Bonds, legal director of the A.C.L.U. of Kansas, said in an email on Wednesday.
Officials at the Leavenworth federal penitentiary had not been providing Mr. Crews, 45, with the buprenorphine he needed to stay sober, Ms. Bonds said on Tuesday. Instead, they had been medicating him with codeine, an opioid, to keep him from going through a painful withdrawal, and Tylenol.
Before reporting to the Leavenworth prison last Wednesday to serve a three-year sentence for embezzlement, Mr. Crews had been in recovery for 14 months with the aid of the medication, according to Ms. Bonds.
“It is a rare feat for that long a period,” she said, referring to using buprenorphine during recovery to treat addiction. “It was kind of a success story.”
The Federal Bureau of Prisons did not respond to questions about why buprenorphine is not available to inmates in recovery, but is permitted for inmates in detox.
Source: The New York Times