Jails, prisons slowly loosen resistance to addiction meds - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Jails, prisons slowly loosen resistance to addiction meds

By PHILIP MARCELO
Associated Press

GREENFIELD, Mass. (AP) - American correctional institutions are slowly loosening resistance to giving inmates medication for their opioid addiction.

The U.S. Department of Justice says roughly 300 of the nation's 5,100 correctional facilities offer the medications.

Criminal justice analyst Andrew Klein says that number has grown from just a handful in the years prior to the opioid epidemic.

Among them is a two-year long effort at Franklin County Jail in Greenfield, Massachusetts, that state lawmakers want to expand to other facilities.

Elizabeth Gondles, of the trade group the American Correctional Association, says newer medications and more scientific evidence are helping overcome the industry's historic reluctance.

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