Jail Authority to decide on MAT for opioid addiction

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 1:00pm

The Two Bridges Regional Jail Authority decided May 8 to create a committee to look into options for Medication Assisted Therapy (MAT) for opioid addiction at the jail.

According to Col. James Bailey, jail administrator, drug addiction is a serious issue in the jail, and when inmates are released. Bailey said the jail has been complying with MAT already prescribed when an inmate arrives. Working with inmates who have yet to begin therapy, and making some treatment and possibly transitional housing provisions for them when they are released, are important goals, he said.

There are several options for MAT, including a new state-led and financed program to provide about $130,000 to TBRJ, Bailey said. It is part of Gov. Janet Mills’ opioid response program outlined in February. A second program is run by the Department of Corrections, according to Sheriff Todd Brackett, and there are other programs that tap MaineCare funding that could possibly be used. Brackett and Sagadahoc County Sheriff Joel Merry will look at the options and report back prior to a special meeting in June, when a decision will be made.

After an executive session, the authority voted to direct Bailey to negotiate a new contract with Oxford County for jail services.