Medication-assisted treatment program expands at Snohomish County Jail

EVERETT, Wash. — The Snohomish County Jail has expanded its medication-assisted treatment to be available for all inmates who qualify.

The pilot MAT program was launched in January 2018, but it was limited in the number of inmates who could be enrolled.

From December 2018 to September 2019, officials said 104 inmates were enrolled and remained active.

From Sept. 29 to Oct. 14, the jail expanded the program and enrolled 197 inmates.

"Any inmate with current or a history of opiate addiction, currently on buprenorphine through Ideal Option or another prescriber, or tests positive for opiates during the booking process is eligible to participate," deputies wrote in a news release.

Inmates with no documentation of opiate addiction, federal prisoners and those who have misused or diverted buprenorphine in jail in the past will not be eligible for the expanded program.

"When we treat addiction like a medical condition, rather than a moral failing that we expect to solve with a pair of handcuffs, we can break the cycle of drug-related crime and homelessness," said Sheriff Ty Trenary.

The Snohomish County Jail is one of the first jails in the nation to offer comprehensive treatment options to all inmates with heroin or other opioid-related disorders, officials said.

"Expanding the MAT program adds one more tool to our toolkit for battling addiction in Snohomish County," Trenary said.

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