These resources are for those working in jail or prison settings who are interested in implementing medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) for people who are incarcerated.

Medications for Opioid Use Disorder in Washington State Jails

Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a treatable medical condition that too often results in chaos, high costs, and unnecessary deaths for jails, communities, and individuals.

Increasingly, jails are treating opioid use disorder with FDA-approved medications.

The Medications for Opioid Use Disorder in WA State Jails page provides information on how implementing these programs is beneficial from multiple perspectives, and includes information on relevant laws, lawsuits, and policy guidance; an FAQ; a comparison of potential benefits of medication for OUD by role; and a downloadable brochure.


Medications for Opioid Use Disorder in Washington State Jails: Video Series

Part 1: Opioid Use Disorder & Medications for Opioid Use Disorder
Presented by Mandy Owens, PhD, UW Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute (ADAI).

This module provides a brief introduction to opioid use disorder and medications for opioid use disorder. This module is intended for a jail staff audience, including corrections officers. It discusses: the important distinction between opioid dependence and opioid use disorder; the three FDA-approved medications, methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone; and common concerns related to medications for opioid use disorder.

Part 2: The Role of Medications for Opioid Use Disorder in Jails
Presented by Lt. Penelope Sapp (Kitsap County Jail), Comm. Stephen Sultemeier (Franklin County Jail), and Mandy Owens, PhD (UW ADAI).

This second module of the training series includes the testimonies from two Washington State jails, the Kitsap County Jail and Franklin County Jail. Lt. Sapp and Comm. Sultemeier offer their rationales for starting an MOUD program at their facilities. They discuss the benefits they have seen of an MOUD program to the people who incarcerated, jail staff, and their communities. Last, Dr. Owens describes how starting people on MOUD can reduce their risk of overdose after release from jail.

Part 3: Common Concerns Related to Medications for Opioid Use Disorder in Jails
Presented by Lt. Penelope Sapp (Kitsap County Jail), Victor Mendez (Family Health Centers – Omak), and Mandy Owens, PhD (UW ADAI)

This third module of the training series addresses common concerns related to MOUD programs in jails, including: “Aren’t you replacing one drug for another?”, “What about diversion?”, and “I just see the same people coming back to jail”. Dr. Owens reviews the difference between opioid dependence and opioid use disorder that was discussed in Part 1. Lt. Sapp returns to share how the benefits of their MOUD program have outweighed risks of diversion. In conclusion, Victor shares his story that includes 25 years of incarceration, but how MOUD helped him recover from opioid use disorder.


Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Opioid Use Disorder in Jails and Prisons: A Planning and Implementation Toolkit

MAT for OUD in Jails and Prisons

From the National Council for Behavioral Health and Vital Strategies funded by the CDC and Bloomberg Philanthropies
Download the toolkit (pdf)

This toolkit includes:

  • Guidance from relevant professional associations,
  • Screening and assessment tools,
  • Strategies to reduce medication diversion,
  • A table to help estimate the total MAT patient population,
  • A calculator to estimate the costs of providing buprenorphine,
  • A flowchart on how to become an opioid treatment program,
  • A list of no-cost training resources,
  • Sample forms for patient information and consent,
  • Sample policies and operating procedures,
  • Sample monitoring and evaluation metrics.