HEALTH

Medical professionals call for greater access to MAT for inmates with addiction

BY Leah Mishkin, Correspondent |

At the New Jersey Reentry Corporation‘s annual conference, the focus of the discussion was the link between incarceration and addiction. According to the host of the event, 70% of the incarcerated population are addicted — 25% are addicted to opioids.

A panel of medical professionals highlighted the importance of giving people access to medication-assisted treatment. New Jersey Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal says the problem is not enough providers offer MAT.

The New Jersey Reentry Corporation says nationally between 2007 and 2009, less than 1% of people with substance use disorders got treatment while incarcerated. Gov. Phil Murphy in his proposed fiscal year 2020 budget includes a $9 million investment into reentry programs.