Using Medications to Treat Opioid Dependence among Prisoners

  • Michael S. Gordon, DPA, Friends Research Institute, Baltimore, MD
  • Terrence T. Fitzgerald, MD, Glenwood Life Counseling Center, Baltimore, MD
  • Robert P. Schwartz, MD, Friends Research Institute, Baltimore, MD


In the US, there are over 1.5 million state and federal prisoners, of whom an estimated 15% have histories of opioid dependence. Despite the availability of effective FDA-approved medications most opioid-dependent inmates remain untreated. As a consequence, opioid use resumes rapidly placing newly released inmates at high risk for opioid overdose death or return to criminal activity and re-incarceration. This workshop will present recently completed trials of buprenorphine and extended release naltrexone for pre-release prisoners in Baltimore and provide practical implications of research findings, the unique challenges of providing these medications to prisoners, and to linking patients to community programs after release.


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