Collier BOCC approves grant for medication-assisted treatment in county jail

DLC to provide case management, peer recovery support and ongoing treatment

Posted 11/1/21

NAPLES — David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health (DLC), Collier County’s only comprehensive, not-for-profit behavioral health provider serving children, adults and families, …

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Collier BOCC approves grant for medication-assisted treatment in county jail

DLC to provide case management, peer recovery support and ongoing treatment

Posted

NAPLES — David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health (DLC), Collier County’s only comprehensive, not-for-profit behavioral health provider serving children, adults and families, announced that the Collier County Board of Commissioners formally approved an agreement between the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, DLC and the Collier County Community and Human Services Division to accept a three-year Criminal Justice, Mental Health and Substance Abuse (CJMHSA) Reinvestment grant awarded to the county by the Florida Department of Children and Families in the amount of $1.2 million. The grant includes a $1.2 million match and will fund Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) in the county jail.

MAT is the use of Food and Drug Administration-approved medications such as methadone, buprenorphine or naltrexone to treat opioid use disorders. In combination with counseling, behavioral therapies and recovery support, MAT is the gold standard for treating opioid use disorders and can help sustain recovery.

In 2019, members from Collier County government, Armor Correctional Health, DLC and the Collier County Jail began researching the implementation of MAT in the jail setting in order to improve transition of inmates into the community. At that time, jail data showed that approximately 31% of the inmate population self-identified as having a substance use disorder at intake. Of those inmates, 15% required a detox protocol that could benefit from MAT to prevent post-release overdoses.

“Medication-assisted treatment is a key approach when it comes to helping those afflicted by opiate use disorder or co-occurring disorders to overcome their disorder,” said Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk. “This grant will allow us to continue medication-assisted treatment for those individuals arrested while already receiving treatment.”

The National Council for Mental Wellness reports that persons who are incarcerated are approximately 100 times more likely to die by overdose in the first two weeks after their release compared to the general public.

Individuals returning to the community after incarceration face a myriad of challenges including: securing stable housing; obtaining employment and a stable source of income; complying with community supervision requirements; accessing transportation; and rebuilding social connections. When these needs go unmet, the likelihood of accessing and remaining on MAT in the community diminishes. Studies demonstrate that the elevated risk of opioid-related overdose death among people released from jails and prisons is increased through disrupted social networks, poverty, disruptions in health care access, stigma and an exacerbation of underlying mental illness and substance use-disorder.

Nancy Dauphinais, DLC Chief Operating Officer, said, “Though relapse is a common and expected step on the path to sustained recovery, it can also be life-threatening, raising the risk of a fatal overdose. Providing access to MAT is a significant step forward to ensuring life-saving and life-changing treatments are available for individuals that have opioid use disorders.”

The new MAT Program in the County jail will provide a comprehensive jail-to-community network of resources and treatment, to create more successful outcomes for individuals with substance use and co-occurring disorders within the Collier County criminal justice system. A dedicated MAT Team that consists of staff members based within the jail as well as community-based team members will be created to assist those being released for a safer and more successful transition into the community after release.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office will receive $845,280 of the grant and match $929,399 to fund the necessary nursing staff and medications for the delivery of MAT services to inmates arrested while on MAT, within the county jail. Program staff will screen for MAT eligibility, administer and monitor medicated treatment within the jail, and provide discharge planning and treatment referrals to participants.

DLC will receive $261,467 of the grant and match $259,738 to provide care coordination, case management, and peer recovery support coaching, in addition to the cost of medications after release, incidentals, and project evaluation. Upon release, program participants will be linked with DLC’s treatment and recovery support to continue MAT and ongoing supportive recovery services.

The DLC MAT Care Coordinator will provide case management services to ensure basic needs are met, establish the inmates’ follow-up appointments with treatment providers, and ensure continuity of care for three consecutive months following their release from jail. The DLC MAT Peer Recovery Specialist utilizes their lived experience with addiction to help others achieve and maintain recovery and wellness. They provide recovery support, advocacy, mentoring and assistance with coordination of services, which can include transportation to treatment and follow-up care.

“Our piece is to be the bridge for when an inmate is released so they can continue with the treatment services and return to being healthy, productive members of society,” Dauphinais added. “Proper treatment of substance addiction reduces drug-related crime and referrals of children to the child welfare system. Recovery can impact all functions of the community from crime to health to the economy and industry.”

Increasing the use of evidence-based practices for treatment of addiction and increasing the capacity and effectiveness of the justice system response for persons experiencing serious mental illness and/or substance use disorders is outlined in Collier County’s new five-year strategic plan for mental health and addiction services. The Board of County Commissioners approved plan serves as a road map for community partners, donors and government leaders as they mobilize responses to address associated current and future challenges.

Reported drug overdose deaths in the United States hit a new high of more than 96,000 in the 12-month period ending March, 2021, according the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.

“This data demonstrates that COVID has had a significant and deadly impact on those struggling with addiction and a worsening of the drug overdose epidemic in the United States,” Dauphinais said. “Therefore, this increased funding for evidence-based treatment of opioid use disorders is more important than ever. We feel very fortunate to have received this grant and are confident it will save lives, reduce crime and help alleviate demand on an overburdened healthcare system.”

Southwest Florida nonprofit David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health (DLC) is a national leader providing compassionate, advanced and exceptional mental health, substance use, and integrated healthcare solutions, available for children, adolescents and adults. DLC’s innovative treatment includes inpatient, outpatient, residential, and community-based services – a comprehensive system of care funded by community and government support. Each year, DLC serves more than 9,000 people through over 290,000 treatment sessions. To learn more, please call 239-455-8500 or visit www.DLCenters.org

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