"It gives you a window to try to figure your life out" - getting jailed addicts on a new path

Jan 3, 2020

Credit Jillian Kern/Flickr

Many people don't have a lot of sympathy for an addict going through withdrawal in a jail cell.

Detoxing from opiods is so awful many addicts would rather keep using, but multiple studies on unsupervised detox (mainly in prison) indicates it's not just uncomfortable, it can be fatal.

Who cares?  St. Louis County does.  With higher rates of substance abuse than Minnesota or the country as a whole, and coming in third in heroin and opiod overdose deaths in the state, that's a lot of addicted people and a lot of deaths.

Judge Shaun Floerke knows a thing or two about substance abuse and the criminal justice system. He presides over the South St. Louis County DWI Court and he helped the County write a grant application.

Now there are two grants available: one to provide medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for people in or recently released from the county jail, and one to help people stay clean and sober while they get help to get their lives back on track.

You can see the video Shaun Floerke mentioned, Addiction Neuroscience 101, here:

More information about the Planning Initiative to Build Bridges Between Jail and Community-Based Treatment for Opiod Use Disorder is here.