Recently, the Specialized Dockets Section of the Ohio Supreme Court hosted
a Medication Assisted Treatment Forum to rally judges, federal agencies,
lawmakers, physicians, and other drug treatment professionals on the issue
of medicating heroin addicts.
The forum centered on the crucial role medication can play in the criminal
justice system, and what types of systems need to be implemented in order
to ensure there is criteria for incorporating medication into Ohio drug
dockets in a responsible way.
According to The Sentencing Project, there are more than 1,600 drug courts scattered throughout all 50 states.
Ohio’s drug courts offer specialized treatment for individuals facing
drug offenses. In Fairfield County, Ohio, Judge Trimmer operates a
“Fresh Start” program – a coordinated effort between himself, a probation officer, drug
court coordinator, counselor, defense attorney, and prosecutor –
that focuses on rehabilitating drug offenders, rather than incarcerating them.
These drug court programs have proven successful for many individuals,
but medication for heroin addicts is not always available to offenders
who participate in Ohio’s drug courts. The recent forum was a critical
stepping stone in the path to making medication more readily available
for offenders who really need it.
More Americans die every year from opiate overdose than shootings. Making
medications more readily available to drug offenders (the right way) could
be just one more way to ameliorate their outlook and reduce recidivism rates.
For further reading, visit:
- Making the Case for Medication to Fight Heroin Addiction
- Some Correctional Facilities Treating Addicts with Medication
- This Drug Could Make a Huge Dent in Heroin Addiction