Jul 28, 2015 12:00 AM

NH drug czar: Pilot program aimed at preventing future drug abuse by inmates


CONCORD - The Department of Corrections and the state's drug czar are looking to launch a pilot program to prevent inmates with substance abuse issues from using drugs when they are released from prison.

The voluntary program would allow inmates to get Naltrexone or Vivitrol, drugs that prevent a high from heroin and opioids.

"In any corrections setting, depending on the setting, there's probably 80 percent of people who have some sort of substance use issue," said state Drug Czar Jack Wozmak.

According to the published recommendations from Wozmak, the program would 'increase the likelihood of success as an inmate transitions into the community or longer-term sober housing situation."

Injectable doses cost about $1,000 each, Wozmak said. The program launch will likely be supported by the drug companies who may provide the drugs at no cost.

Helen Hank, the Assistant Commissioner for the Department of Corrections said the program is part of a larger, growing substance abuse program.

"The early research is telling us that these two types of medication assist a treatment," Hank said, "It's not just take a medication and then you're going to stop using, it's add this type of intervention to someone who's engaged in group therapy and other types of treatment and its going to be even more successful."

The program is set to launch in November of 2015.


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