With opioid overdose deaths surging in the United States, many communities are in desperate need of solutions to bring down the body count. Among the most promising is strengthening prison reentry programs for highest-risk users, a Rutgers-led study has found.
“For people who use drugs and have been in prison for several years, the reentry period can be chaotic and disorienting,” said Grant Victor, an assistant professor in the Rutgers School of Social Work and lead author of the study published in the Journal of Offender Rehabilitation.
“Closing the health care services gap after release, especially for those with psychiatric and behavioral health issues, may improve people’s willingness to engage with opioid use treatment,” Victor said.
Incarceration is a significant risk factor for opioid-related deaths. A 2013 study found the likelihood of a fatal overdose is approximately 129 times greater for someone recently released from prison compared with the general population. Another study, led by Victor, found 20 percent of all opioid-related overdose deaths in one community involved people released from prison within three years.
To investigate risk factors and potential solutions, Victor and colleagues at Northern Arizona University and Wayne State University applied machine learning to data from a Midwestern reentry program for incarcerated individuals with co-occurring opioid use and a mental health disorder.
To combat the alarming rise in opioid overdose deaths across the United States, a recent article highlights the potential effectiveness of reinforcing prison reentry programs. The article emphasizes that strengthening these programs could significantly reduce opioid-related fatalities in the country.
As opioid addiction remains a pressing public health concern, addressing the issue within the prison population becomes essential. Research has shown that individuals leaving correctional facilities are particularly vulnerable to relapse and overdose due to limited access to necessary support and resources. By enhancing prison reentry initiatives, individuals are better equipped to reintegrate into society with the tools to overcome addiction.
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Amid the opioid crisis, reinforcing prison reentry programs emerges as a potential lifeline, aiding individuals in breaking the cycle of addiction and reducing overdose deaths. Take a step toward recovery today by contacting rehabnear.me at 855–339-1112. Your call could mark the first stride on the journey to a healthier, addiction-free life.