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

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