A pilot program has been created to help inmates in the state battling opioid addiction.
The medication assisted treatment pilot program will be available to inmates who were already receiving medication-assisted treatment for opioid use immediately before incarceration, and who have been qualified by an addiction specialist.
Hampden County Sheriff Nicholas Cocchi said the program will be in five county correctional facilities in the state including Hampden, Franklin and Hampshire Counties.
One person told 22News that this program sounds beneficial.
“I know plenty of people who have benefited from things like that,” Northampton resident Julia Berry said. “So really, it’s all just in the person, if they want the help or not.”
The Hampden County Sheriff’s Office said the goal of this program is to reduce overdose deaths in Massachusetts, as well as keep addicts from going back and forth between emergency rooms and jail.
One Springfield man told 22News he has been sober for three years, and thinks other treatments may work better for recovering addicts.
“There’s so many programs available for people who just want to be sober and off medications,” Chris O’Connor said. “Like why get on another drug just to get off that one too? And then it will be another drug to get off that one too. It seems like a never-ending cycle, you know?”
The sheriff’s department said inmates will leave jail with a specialized treatment plan to continue their recovery.
The pilot program is set to begin in September of next year.