Lubbock Co. Detention Center could provide medication assisted t - FOX34 Lubbock

Lubbock Detention Cntr. could provide medication-assisted treatment

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse shows a high rate of substance use disorders within the criminal justice system. 

A new program at the Lubbock County Detention Center is working to treat inmates suffering from opioid addiction. 

Despite such a high rate of substance use disorders documented, very few actually receive treatment while incarcerated. A grant from the state would fun a controlled treatment - monthly injections with an opioid inhibitor called Naltrexone. 

"So we want to potentially save lives," Ryan Braus, Director of Programs and Accreditation for the Lubbock County Detention Center, said. "We want to create a system, put a system in place that can stop someone from continuing to harm themselves through the use of these narcotics."

Up to 12 participants can take part in the clinical trial. An appointed physician will administer the drug. Andrea Magdalena, Re-Entry Coordinator at the Lubbock County Detention Center, says it acts as an inhibitor. 

"The medication that we're using, it's supposed to reduce cravings. They shouldn't even want need or feel the want to use opioids or alcohol," she said. 

This kind of assisted treatment helps inmates succeed, even after they're released. Magdaleno emphasizes it's about more than medicine. The treatment will be coupled with counseling and behavioral therapies. 

To help transition, participants will continually get care through the drug court. Lubbock County Judge Curtis Parrish said this is just another way to fight the opioid crisis. 

"We know in order to treat this opioid epidemic we need to look at all avenues of it, not just to incarcerate them and put them in jail, but give them an opportunity to get off of the addiction," he said. 

Lubbock County Commissioners approved the grant application this afternoon. The state will make a determination in a couple of weeks. 



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