Methadone program for inmates to begin at New Mexico jail

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Bernalillo County is joining only a handful of jails around the country that allow inmates with opioid addictions to start a methadone program while behind bars.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Recovery Services of New Mexico has been providing medication-assisted treatment with methadone since 2005 for inmates who are already enrolled in a program when they enter the Metropolitan Detention Center.

According to the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance, fewer than 30 of the nation's 5,100 jails and prisons offer opioid users medication-assisted treatment.

Supporters of the program hope it will address a multitude of issues including recidivism, crime rates and community wellness.

The program begins Wednesday, exactly 12 years to the day after the first dose of methadone was given to an inmate at the jail.

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