Albuquerque jail offers treatment for opioid addiction


Homeless men walk along the street on June 03, 2019 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. New Mexico is one of the poorest states in the United States, with a sluggish economy, a growing homeless problem and a surge in drug use. In 2018 19 percent of residents had incomes below the poverty line while over one in four New Mexican children under the age of 18 were living in poverty. The Southwestern state boasts some of Americas best weather and top tourist destinations, but continues to face economic challenges. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Metropolitan Detention Center in Albuquerque has begun a program to give buprenorphine to people in jail who are already using it to treat their opioid addictions.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the buprenorphine maintenance program can provide an average of 22 inmates per day with the medication.

Recovery Services of New Mexico — a treatment organization run by BayMark Health Services — received a contract to provide the medication at the jail late last year. The county signed a two-year contract agreeing to pay the organization just under $250,000 for services and $312,400 for the medication itself.

Recovery Services has been providing another medication-assisted treatment — methadone — in the jail for years.

For now, Recovery Services will provide buprenorphine only to those who had already been using the medication before they were locked up. However, Evan Gonzales, a spokesman for Bernalillo County’s Department of Behavioral Health Services, said, the county will explore expanding the program to start people on the treatment.

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