Require Jails to continue Methadone Treatment for those already in the program.
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The opiate crisis in Michigan is at epic levels and everything that CAN be done needs to be done. Many people who are caught in a horrible addiction choose MAT, or medication assisted treatment, to help them get clean and to live productive lives. Free from committing felonies daily buying the drugs, committing crimes to get them, possibly dying every day, negligent parenting and so much more. Methadone and Suboxone save lives and it is a proven fact that it is at least 50% more effective than abstinence only treatment. Only 2 in 10 people who actually complete rehab stay clean. 6-7 out of 10 stay clean on methdaone. But right now if someone on methadone goes to jail they get treated just like an addict who was using illegal drugs. And methadone withdrawals last much longer. There have been recorded deaths because of this one of them being in our own state.
People coming off of methadone suffer from severe nausea to the point where they are unable to hold down even water, extreme high blood pressure, inablity to sleep, extreme pain and usually suicidal thoughts among others. This is someone who is trying to improve thier lives. I have honestly heard people say that the only thing they learned in jail was they should have stayed on heroin as the withdrawals only last 3 days.
This doesn't even touch on the fact that while in jail the person's tolerance goes down, when they get out they are still sick as methadone withdrawals not done properly can last months. Go out and use and overdose.
Methadone (and Suboxone) are live saving drugs. It should not be not given to someone because it's a drug for addiction. These people suffer extreme pain. It's cruel. Very cruel. Most of these people are people who got in trouble BEFORE they started methadone or made a mistake. Taking away thier treatment can ruin YEARS off hard work on thier recovery and if they're in jail for too long they get kicked out of the program.
I know many people right now who have warrants who WANT TO do the right thing and face the consequences but are too scared of losing thier treatment and of going through inhumane withdrawal.
Often these people return to the street life. There is NO reason to deny someone who has been trying to improve thier lives the medication they need. And it's actually illegal in some cases because methadone patents are protected by the person's with disabilitys act.
Please, please find it in your heart to require Jails to do this. The jails won't have to pay for it. These people already have funding for methadone. If you want to help end the opiate crisis this will help greatly.
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