Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder in the Criminal Justice System

AATOD released this MAT Fact Sheet with regard to Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder in the Justice System. Many individuals and organizations have had the opportunity to review this Fact Sheet. We are grateful for their recommended edits and hope that the attached Fact Sheet will guide representatives, especially in the justice system, to better understand how federally approved medications are best used in treating opioid use disorder.

This Fact Sheet is being released at an extremely dynamic time in the field of addiction treatment services. More than 120 Americans die each day from opioid related overdoses. Fentanyl and heroin are accounting for a very high number of these mortalities. It took years to get into the current opioid addiction crisis and it will take a long time for us to get out.

What is most important is that policymakers, both within and external to the justice system, understand what is at stake. This Fact Sheet is intended to separate anecdote and ideology from evidence and fact. There are many publications, which provide guidance on how such medications should be used, including SAMHSA’s Treatment Improvement Protocol series and NIDA’s “Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment for Criminal Justice Populations”. Other organizations in our field, including the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s “National Practice Guideline for the Use of Medications in the Treatment of Addiction Involving Opioid Use”, also provide extremely valuable and clinically sound references for our field. The reader should also review Medication-Assisted Treatment in Drug Courts, which represented a collaborative effort among the Legal Action Center, the Center for Court Innovation and the New York State Unified Court System’s Office of Policy and Planning. Finally, another helpful reference is the Adult Drug Court  Best Practice Standards, which were developed by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals..

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