Lynn Madden, President/CEO APT Foundation

Addiction Treatment and Prisoners

Lynn Madden, President/CEO APT Foundation
Lynn Madden, President/CEO APT Foundation

APT Foundation, a leading provider of substance use disorder, drug, alcohol, mental health, and medication-assisted treatment services in Connecticut, was recently interviewed by News Channel 8 (WTNH) about the efficacy of medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction.¹

When combined with a comprehensive treatment plan, addiction treatment using methadone has proven to help people reduce or quit their use of heroin or other opiates..² APT treats 4500 patients using methadone and 700 patients using buprenorphine. For methadone treatment, they require a minimum of 3 years of treatment with the goal of keeping patients engaged in their own recovery. According to “addicts who do not use a supervised medication program like methadone to get clean have an 80 to 90 percent chance of relapsing in the first year.”

This article also indicated that 44% of 700 overdose deaths in the State of Connecticut were tied to individuals who were previously incarcerated. “When you combine that statistic with the fact that an inmate’s tolerance for drugs goes down while incarcerated, the result is an increased risk of overdose once they are released.”¹ Government officials have noted the success of prisoner methadone treatment programs already in place and are hoping to expand these types of programs. Dr. Kathleen Maurer, Medical Director for the Connecticut Department of Correction said the goal is to treat 1,000 prisoners a year at an estimated cost of $4 million.³

The Associated Press interviewed Connecticut-based treatment provider, Recovery Networks of Programs, Inc., who has been working directly within the jail system to provide methadone treatment for prisoners suffering from the disease of addiction. CEO John Hamilton said, “It’s the right thing to do…It’s inhumane to have someone go through withdrawal. We don’t want to see those clients suffering.” Prisoner patients also shared that their withdrawal experiences in prison often lead to their hospitalization. One such incarcerated patient said, “It was a real blessing to get back in the program and maintain my sobriety.”³

1.) http://wtnh.com/2016/04/18/connecticut-pushes-to-get-methadone-treatment-for-prisoners/

2.) http://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment/treatment/methadone

3.) http://www.nhregister.com/20160417/connecticut-to-expand-methadone-treatment-in-prisons

ri-medical-reserves-corp

Volunteering in Overdose Prevention

ri-medical-reserves-corp

SMART’s Director of Partner Services and Operations, and overdose prevention volunteer, Ann-Marie Reid Richardson

April 22, 2016 – Brown University School of Medicine recently hosted inter-professional training meetings to address overdose prevention methods.  This event brought together students to provide instruction and facilitate overdose response practice groups. One important overdose prevention method being taught is the administration of naloxone.

SMART’s  Director of Partner Services and Operations, Ann-Marie Reid Richardson has been volunteering with Rhode Island Medical Reserve Corps and NOPE-RI since 2009. For this gathering she provided naloxone training for attendees and participating organizations; The RI MRC / NOPE-RI, The Drug and Overdose Prevention & Rescue Coalition, in addition to Rhode Island College, University of Rhode Island, and Brown University Medical School. Multidisciplinary teams of medical students, pharmacy students, and nursing students were educated on recognizing the symptoms of overdose, how to prevent overdose, and how to revive victims of overdose until emergency medical care can be administered. When asked why she volunteers Ann-Marie said, “Participating and volunteering keeps me involved in the communities directly served by our partners. It is my way of giving back.”

The past few years have generated the largest number of fatal overdoses in our nation’s history. SMART is proud to support volunteer efforts that positively contribute to the recovery from the ongoing opiate epidemic.