New program provides treatment Rutherford Co. jail inmates addic - FOX Carolina 21

New program provides treatment Rutherford Co. jail inmates addicted to opiates

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Heroin use . (Courtesy: AP) Heroin use . (Courtesy: AP)
RUTHERFORDTON, NC (FOX Carolina) -

The Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office and several partner agencies announced Monday the creation of a new program to treat Rutherford County Jail inmates who are addicted to opioids.

The new pilot program will offer medicinal treatment, behavioral therapy, and wraparound services for one year, while behind cars and upon release.

One released, inmates will also receive peer support services, additional medical care, and access to job skills and educational support services.

Sheriff Chris Francis said the program is the first of its kind in Western North Carolina.

“I am excited to implement this new program in my jail,” Francis said. “I understand enforcement is extremely important but education and treatment along with enforcement gives much better results. I also believe that if you show someone a new way they can have a new truth and thus a new life.”

Francis said Family Preservation Services will provide the treatment using Vivitrol, a medication that blocks opiate cravings, in jail and ensure a seamless transition to the community-based services when inmates are released.

While in jail, the cost of the medication and therapy is covered by grant funding provided by RHI Legacy Foundation and Medicaid or other state funds will be accessible to participants to cover the cost upon release, Francis said.

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