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Need to address: City jails combat influx of drugs on the inside, recidivism with MAT program

Paul Robbins recently spent about six months in Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility (CFCF), a Philadelphia’s men’s jail, for drug-related charges.
Robbins was on methadone when he was incarcerated, and he was able to remain on methadone throughout his time behind bars. The jail’s medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program for opioid use disorder allows inmates to continue treatment while on the inside.

“It helped me with cravings,” said Robbins, 50, who just finished rehab and is now living in a recovery house in Frankford. It was important for him to remain on methadone while at CFCF because “you can get anything you want in there,” he noted.

But drug circulation on the inside is only part of the reason why the city is expanding its MAT program for those in its jails. It’s also important to get individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD) on MAT so they have less chance of recidivism and a better chance of getting their lives in order once on the outside, said Bruce Herdman, chief of medical operations for the Philadelphia Department of Prisons.

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