Heroin-addicted inmates in Maryland can now get naltrexone treatment

June 02, 2015
Heroin addicts in eight Maryland county jails and detention centers will be treated with monthly injections of naltrexone, a non-narcotic and non-addictive substance that blocks the euphoric effects of heroin and other opiates. Eligible inmates will receive initial naltrexone shots shortly before being released from jail and can receive subsequent injections from county health departments. To enter the treatment program, inmates must be housed at a county detention center and be within three months of release, the governor's office said. The state will enroll them in Medicaid or other health-insurance plans to pay for the anti-addiction drug. The program also includes post-release support services such as housing, mental-health counseling, education and employment. The treatment - to be funded with a $500,000 federal grant to Maryland - is the first such program initiated by Gov. Larry Hogan (R) to address the state's addiction problem. Last year, 578 people died of heroin overdoses in Maryland, a 25% increase from 2013 and more than double the number in 2010. Each jurisdiction that receives grant money must develop a program to monitor ex-offenders' progress, compliance, recidivism and lingering substance abuse.