CRANSTON, R.I. (September 5, 2019) — CODAC Behavioral Healthcare is bringing its nationally recognized ACI treatment program to the Hampden County House of Corrections, making it the first time in the treatment provider’s history that it will deliver services outside of Rhode Island. The widely-lauded program, which is attributed with reducing post-incarceration death rates by 61 percent at the Rhode Island Department of Corrections, could help address the burgeoning opioid crisis in Massachusetts.
Linda Hurley, President/CEO of CODAC Behavioral Healthcare, said the latest development reflects the urgency to reduce a growing number of overdoses. “We are looking to build a stronger community by replicating the success of our MAT program at the Adult Correctional Institution in Rhode Island,” Hurley said. “If we can work towards reducing overdoses, we can help make families stronger, reduce incarcerations, and save taxpayers from additional costs that can be tied to addiction.”
CODAC Behavioral Healthcare will offer a range of services to treat cases of opioid use disorder within the correctional facility. Assessment clinicians and nurses will work with incarcerated individuals to make sure they are receiving medication assisted treatment that is tailored to their specific needs. All three FDA approved medications — buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone — will be available as well as counseling and discharge planning services.
As part of its effort to address a common tragedy within the recovery community, CODAC senior administrator Dustin Alvanas emphasized the importance of establishing linkages to healthcare providers when they step outside of the guarded walls.
“Individuals who are released from prison without connections to care face a greater risk for experiencing an overdose,” said Alvanas, who serves as the Vice President of Operations at CODAC. “Continuing a treatment plan outside of the prison will assist these individuals in staying on their path to recovery,” he added.
Massachusetts has seen a spate of opioid-related overdoses since the crisis began. At the height of the crisis, the Massachusetts Department of Health (DPH) reported about 2,100 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2016. The rate of overdose deaths in Massachusetts declined by nearly four percent in 2018 to about 2,033 deaths, according to statistics provided by DPH.
In response to the opioid crisis in Massachusetts, lawmakers passed legislation last year that would require jails and prisons to provide expanded MAT services for newly arriving inmates. CODAC’s partnership with the Hampden County House of Corrections is part of that law’s requirement to launch a pilot program, which will also be available at 6 other county jails in Massachusetts.
CODAC started offering services at the county jail during the first week of September.
About CODAC Behavioral Healthcare
Founded in 1971, CODAC Behavioral Healthcare is Rhode Island’s oldest and largest provider of outpatient services for opioid use disorder, other substance use disorders, and concurrent behavioral health challenges. With nine locations across Rhode Island, CODAC is uniquely positioned to provide services when and where they are needed. For more information about CODAC, visit: www.codacinc.org.