‘First Shot is Free’

The Michigan Department of Corrections says more than 20% of its inmates have an opioid-use disorder. Wayne County Jail, the state’s largest, has similar numbers.

Inmates returning home after incarceration are at acute risk of overdose and death from opioids — between 40 and 120 times more likely to die of an opioid overdose, according to two studies cited by the Michigan Department of Corrections.

What makes opioid use so dangerous for newly released inmates is, surprisingly, the time they’ve spent away from the drug.

If a person who’s been locked up resumes his or her opioid use at the previous level, the risk of overdose is substantial, said Dr. Carmen McIntyre, chief medical officer of the Michigan Department of Corrections.

“Vivitrol is not the magic bullet,” said Linda Davis, executive director of Macomb County-based Families Against Narcotics. “But what it does is it quiets the mind, so all the things you’re telling the person can be absorbed. We’re told so many times that people who are new to recovery, they can’t quiet their mind, the cravings are so strong. Vivitrol helps.”

Source: The Detroit News


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