Newswires
ACLU Sues Massachusetts Sheriff Over Prisoner Access to MAT

09/24/2018 -ATIN- The Massachusetts arm of the American Civil Liberties Union is suing a county sheriff, alleging that prisoners in a local jail are denied access to medication assisted therapies (MAT). While the  Essex County jail does offer Vivitrol, the county does not allow those on Suboxone or methadone to continue their treatment while incarcerated.

Essex County Sherrif Kevin Coppinger says that while the Middleton, MA jail does offer a variety of addiction treatment programs for county inmates, methadone and Suboxone treatments are not allowed due the potential for abuse and diversion.

The ACLU is suing on behalf of a man who faces county time due to a traffic violation. The man is on methadone maintenance and has been denied methadone since being incarcerated. Withdrawl from methadone and other synthetic opiates like buprenorphine, the active ingredient in Suboxone, is signficantly more difficult and risky to one's health than withdrawl from natural opiates like morphine or heroin.

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