The connection between drug abuse and crime is well known. One half to two-thirds of inmates in jails and in state and federal prisons meet standard diagnostic criteria (DSM-5) for alcohol/drug substance use disorders. Research indicates that when treating substance use disorders, a combination of medication and behavioral therapies is most successful. MAT is clinically driven with a focus on individualized patient care. Medication Assisted Treatment or Therapy (MAT)is the use of medication, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a whole-patient approach to the treatment of substance use disorders, usually related to opioid, heroin and alcohol.

The opioid use disorder issue continues to be a major problem impacting individuals, families, and communities. As such, the SCDC continues to incarcerate individuals at an alarming rate with an opioid use disorder. This presentation will address the collaborative initiative between DAODAS and SCDC preparing individuals for successful reentry upon release from prison. The initiative involves a proven model of certified and trained Peer Support Recovery Specialists, working with Health Services and correctional staff internally as well as stakeholders, families and providers externally, in a holistic approach to community reintegration.

Peer Support Services are a process of giving and receiving support and education from individuals with shared life experiences. Peer Support Services are provided by individuals in recovery from mental illness and/or addition who use their lived experience as a tool to assist others by sharing their personal journeys and knowledge. Individuals engaged in peer support services play a vital role in laying the foundation for sustained recovery. They encourage, inspire and empower others to set recovery goals and achieve them, with the ultimate goal to sustain recovery outside of the corrections environment.

This session will involve a presentation and panel discussion format explaining how DAODAS and SCDC have leveraged funding to provide Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) with opioid use disorder to assist in community transition. This panel includes a participant who will share his real-life recovery experience and ongoing journey.

Members of the panel include: Bryan P. Stirling, Director, SCDC; Terre K. Marshall, Deputy Director, SCDC; Kennard DuBose, Division Director, Behavioral Health; Nikki L. Harris, Program Manager, Substance Use Disorder Services; Harold Blackwell, CPSS, DAODAS & Michael Crawford, CPSS; Joseph Morin, MAT Participant