On January 4, 2020, the Washington County Jail initiated the Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) Program. MOUD, also known as Medication Assisted Treatment or MAT, involves the use of FDA-approved medications as an effective, evidence-based method to treat Opioid Use Disorder. The potential benefits of this program include:
Saving lives by reducing the likelihood of overdose, especially in the high-risk period immediately after release from jail.
Breaking the cycle of re-incarceration that is commonly associated with substance use disorders.
Increasing retention in treatment and providing a path to long-term recovery for jail inmates.
Creating a safer, more supportive environment in the jail for staff and inmates.
The COVID-19 pandemic has added challenges for people working on recovery and has worsened existing health disparities. The 2020 data that is available so far has shown an increase in opioid-related overdose deaths across Minnesota and the metro. This program and other opioid response efforts have become even more urgent at this critical time. The MOUD Program is part of a broader strategy at Washington County to support individuals with substance use disorders and mental health conditions, with a particular focus on facilitating a coordinated transition into the community after release from jail.
The MOUD Program was developed and implemented in collaboration with the following partners:
Washington County Sheriff's Office
Washington County Public Health & Environment
Washington County Community Services
Washington County Community Corrections
Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation