New Nash County jail program to treat inmates' opioid addictions
Posted September 23
Nash County law enforcement on Saturday announced they will begin providing opioid abuse treatment to inmates, becoming the second correctional facility in the state to initiate the program.
The opioid epidemic is at an all-time high, and the Nash County Sheriff’s Office says drug use goes hand in hand with crimes.
“With those heroin seizures, we noticed a lot more people coming in to our detention facility with opioid use disorder," said Maj. Dennis Wooten
Wooten believes that one solution might start while opioid users are behind bars. He said the Nash County jail will begin to implement medicine-assisted treatment for inmates to help with their recovery.
The new program will provide shots to inmates about a month before their release, which will curb their desire for opioids.
Wooten said the program will prevent the all-too-common occurrence of newly released inmates dying from overdoses.
“We went another route and decided not to be just the enforcement side of the police, but we wanted to do something to help him." Wooten said. "We wanted a program that would help them kind of curtail their opioid use disorder as they are getting out and reentering society.”
Nash County residents like Heather Moore are on board.
“I’m very, very happy about what the sheriff’s department is doing," Moore said. "This medication is really going to help people.”
Moore has four children, and three of them struggled with opioid abuse disorder. Two of her kids recovered with the help of the same medical treatment that Nash County is planning to implement.
“The boys did awesome on this drug," Moore said. "It is a very, very, very good tool.”
Wooten said if that tool saves even one life, the program will be worth it.
Each injection for inmates will cost $800 to $1,200. The department has secured private funding to start the program.