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Mandate allowance of Medicated Assisted Treatment in all Community Corrections Programs

This petition had 329 supporters

An estimated 65% of individuals in United States prisons or jails have a substance use disorder, and an additional 20% of individuals in United States prisons are substance involved. For many years, the percentage of incarcerated individuals with substance use disorders and other substance involvement has been rising at a level disproportionate to the overall rise in the United States prison population.A substantial number of incarcerated individuals with substance use disorders are addicted to opioids, such as heroin and prescription pain medication. In 2000, for
example, a median of 5.6% of adult male arrestees and 6.6% of adult female arrestees tested positive for opiates at arrest, with the numbers much larger in some urban areas (a range of 10% to 27% in ten of thirty-five urban areas sampled). An estimated 9% of all individuals in state prisons and jails were using opiates in the month prior to incarceration, and an estimated 12% of individuals in jails and 15% of individuals in state prisons have used opiates regularly at some point. The percentages of people with substance use disorders at all other phases of the criminal justice system are at least as high, and often higher. For example, 69% of probationers reported past drug use, with 32% reporting illegal drug use in the month before their offense. The enormous amount of substance use among individuals with criminal justice involvement has far-reaching consequences. Substance use has been clearly linked to the commission of crimes. For the overwhelming majority of incarcerated individuals, substance involvement was a factor in their crimes. Recidivism rates are higher among incarcerated individuals with substance involvement than among other incarcerated individuals: in 2006, 53.4% of incarcerated individuals with substance involvement were re-incarcerated, as opposed to 38.9% of other incarcerated individuals. Substance use among incarcerated individuals also impacts families and children. In 2006, it is estimated that 1 million substance involved parents, with 2.2 million minor children, were incarcerated in U.S. prisons and jails, leading to significant negative effects on children and families. Substance use in United States jails and prisons also impacts broader public health issues. Both methadone and buprenorphine have been found to reduce health problems linked to heroin use, including the transmission of infectious diseases and overdose deaths. Scientific research has firmly established the success of drug treatment in reducing addiction and criminal activity more effectively and at far less cost than incarceration. This includes addiction treatment that utilizes medications that have been proven effective for treatment of opioid
dependence (commonly called “Medication Assisted Treatment,” or “MAT”), such as methadone and buprenorphine. MAT uses “agonist” or “partial agonist” medications, such as methadone or buprenorphine, to normalize brain chemistry, block the euphoric effects of opioids, relieve physiological cravings, and normalize body functions without the negative effects of the short-acting drugs of abuse.
Methadone maintenance treatment (“MMT”) has been available for over 40 years and has been confirmed clinically effective for opioid dependence in more than 300 published research studies. In 1997, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institutes of Health (“NIH”) Consensus Panel found that various treatments available, methadone maintenance treatment, combined with attention to medical, psychiatric and socio-economic issues, as well as drug counseling, has the highest probability of being effective.” The NIH report also recommended that “all opiate-dependent persons under legal supervision should have access to [MMT] and the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy [“ONDCP”] and the U.S. Department of Justice [“DOJ”] should take the necessary steps to implement this recommendation.” The Office of National Drug Control Policy has also described methadone as a “rigorously well-tested medication that is safe and efficacious for the treatment of narcotic withdrawal and dependence.”A 2009 study found buprenorphine at least as effective as methadone, when administered in a correctional setting. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (“NIDA”) found that both methadone and buprenorphine “have been shown to help normalize brain function” for individuals addicted to heroin. A number of studies have shown buprenorphine to be effective in managing opiate withdrawal and dependence. MAT in the criminal justice system would reduce costs in addition to improving health care. While MAT costs about $4,000 per person each year, incarceration in United States prisons has an average annual cost of $22,279.19 Numerous studies also have shown that MAT reduces drug use and criminal activity among opiate addicted persons, “with effects many times the size of hospitalbased detoxification, drug-free outpatient treatment, and residential treatment.” Yet, in many Community based Community Corrections Center Across the country, there are blanket policies banning this treatment, directly contributing to the recedivism rate and not helping anyone. As a addict myself, i was once on house arrest, a single father with custody of my son, a full time worker, brother, son, uncle, and grandson. i suffered a injury and am in need of medication, the only medicine that is allowed is opiates!?!?! why? as a man that has spent 7 years (all for opiates, and the person they make me become) i am finally stong enough to say that i do not want opiates, i do not want to be that man i was before. i refuse to get them and used the buprenorphine instead. Now, i have lost 195 days of my good time, have lost my son, and have had my house arrest revoked, and put on work release instead. i am now on the verdge of going back to prison all because of this uneducated policy that our goverment helps fund to "help people get better". America is the highest incarcerated country per capita in the world!!!!!! As the great leaders of this country, tell me this, are we here to help our country? or is incarceration a buisness? Please sign this petition and thank you all for your support. Mr Trump, you declared this a National Emergency, require these places to give us addicts the help we need or cut there funding!!!!! LETS MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

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