SALT LAKE CITY – Salt Lake, Weber and Wasatch are the only county prisons in the state that addicted to…
SALT LAKE CITY – Salt Lake, Weber and Wasatch are the only county prisons in the state that addicted to prisoners with prolonged opiate removal medicine, reports a new report.
Salt Lake County Prison is the only facility in Utah that uses all three types of drugs approved by the Federal Drug Administration for long-term treatment of opiate addiction – including methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone. Weber and Wasatch county prisons only provide some types of these medications.
The 22 other county prisons also do not provide these drugs, do not have guidelines on how to deal with addicts, or leave an answer to the study presented by the Utah Criminal Justice Commission for the central government legislature in mid-November.
“It’s partly a funding issue, a resource issue. … (Not) All prisons have enough resources to get them (drugs)”, says Mary Lou Emerson, Director of an Advisory Council on Abuse of Substances that Affects task of compiling the information received by the state from prison wards for the study. [1
9659002] Pilot project designed to test different drugs in the Salt Lake County prison has given the plant greater access to these drugs, Emerson said. However, for other county prisons, there is also concern that drug-based medication can lead to illegal activity among inmates.
But drugs intended to treat long-term opiate addiction have also given addicts a chance to rewire their brain in a way that can offer hope in a situation that is often seen as hopeless – most medical studies place the relapse of an opioid addict around 96 percent, according to Shelley Andrus, a psychiatric healthcare professional with Benefis Health System.
Vivitrol, the prolonged release naltrexone label blocks opioid receptors in the brain that they become activated, meaning that if an addict returns, they will not be able to know the opioid euphoric and analgesic properties.
On the question of whether or not these drugs in other Utah prisons should be a priority, Kim Cordova, Commission President, said that they would not wonder what might be right for each county. However, the Advisory Council on Drug Abuse is expected to provide a list of best practices in late November.
While many Utah prisons do not offer medicines for long-term treatment for opiate addiction, those who say they do it offer some type of drug to drug addicts, administer other treatments like Valium, Codeine, Benadryl, Tylenol, Librium and Gatorade or Powerade for electrolyte exchange, including reporting permission.
At least two interventions that died in 2016 were experiencing abuse. A woman died in the Weber County Prison of Drug Detection and Dehydration, according to the medical examiner’s report, while another died of suicide after her mother claimed that the prison pulled back her death’s anxiety and depression production.
Both resulted in illegal death law proceedings
. The report also found that suicide is the leading cause of death in Utah prisons, most occurring day or week of imprisonment.
The report was the result of the SB205, a bill signed in March of March requiring county prisons to report deaths and alcohol and substance use policies. It aims to address the challenges faced by the state when dealing with opioid addiction among inmates and deeper deaths.
The council responsible for aggregating county data is expected to use the information received to put forward best practice recommendations that may inform the 2019 legislative sessions.
Nevertheless, many counties did not provide full information or had no drug and drug treatment policies for addicts.
“We aggregated what we got and did not ask questions” Emerson said.
Advisory Council on Drug Abuse must submit a similar study each year.