GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT News)-- Seventeen Colorado County Jails are getting funds from the state for new opioid treatment programs.
A recent bill that was passed will require county jails to provide medicated-assisted treatment before or during a person's release from jail if they are suffering from an opioid disorder. The money will be coming from the office of behavioral health and funds will continue even after the grant is over, as a result of the passed law. The medication-assisted treatment, otherwise known as MAT, combines medication with behavioral therapy.
"Well, the medical field has been doing it for quite some time. It's recognized as effective in the medical field. And jails across the country and the state are moving in this direction of medical assisted treatment." says the detention's division commander of Mesa County Art Smith.
The goal is to treat those incarcerated, who are currently suffering from addiction and to also prevent possible addictions upon release. Staff at the sheriff's office does not have an exact date as to when this program will go into effect, but they have been already treating pregnant inmates for some time.