An estimated 200,000 people with heroin addiction pass through U.S. criminal justice systems each year, and few of them receive methadone or buprenorphine therapy. In response to a nationwide survey, prison medical directors cited doubts about the benefits of the medications, cost, concerns about the security of supplies, and longstanding institutional policies among their reasons for not offering opioid replacement therapy (ORT). Nevertheless, says Dr. Josiah D. Rich of Brown University and Miriam Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, omitting that evidence-based approach represents a missed opportunity for improved public health and safety.
Prison use of medications for opioid addiction remains low
Whitten, L. (2011). Prison use of medications for opioid addiction remains low. NIDA Notes, 23(5).