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New Medication Assisted Treatment Pilot Program will help people struggling with opioid addiction behind bars, upon release

Bexar County Opioid Task Force says it will use grant money to help offenders released from jail, reenter the community.

san antonio – The Centers for Disease Control is reporting that 10% of opioid overdose deaths happen to people within a month after they are released from jail.

The Bexar County Opioid Task Force announced Tuesday that it will be using money from a grant to will help those who are released from jail and reentering the community.

"We're going to start a pilot program in the jail that we have a grant for that will help with the transition," said Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff. "When someone comes in and has a drug problem, it will not only help in the jail, but it will help once they come back in real life."

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The new Medication Assisted Treatment Pilot Program will help people struggling with opioid addiction behind bars and that are reentering the community.

Watch the news conference below:

The program starts when someone is booked and continues through incarceration until they’re released.

Case managers will facilitate the delivery of the treatment, which is two shots of Vivitrol, a medication that blocks the effect of opioids.

“People would get two shots over 60 days in the jail and two shots after release,” said TJ Mayes, Bexar County Opioid Task Force Chairman. That’s four months, and we feel like it’s the best practice."

The task force anticipates that the program will serve about 100 people.

“Medication-assisted treatment in incarceration throughout the country has shown it will reduce overdose and rearrest, which saves the taxpayers money,” said Mayes. “So, it’s the right thing to do and it makes financial sense.”


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