News of Interest: Inmates Denied Addiction Medicine Adds to Risk of Lives Lost

[July 9, 2018 — Globe, Boston, MA] In Addicted People Often End Up in Jail. That Can Be Deadly for Them staff writer Felice J. Freyer brings attention to the plight of prisoners who are forced off of methadone, telling the story of Stephen Gonzalez, who died of a heroin overdose this April a few hours after he was released from the South Bay House of Correction in Boston

“’I don’t think anybody should be denied medication, and that is a medication,’ said [Stephen’s mother, Dawn Marie Dingee], referring to methadone. She is hoping her son’s story will change prison treatment policies, not just here but around the country.”

More than two dozen advocacy and health care groups in the state are pushing for legislation to “require jails and prisons to provide the medications for opioid addiction to inmates … but so far there is no bill containing such a requirement, just a proposal to create a commission to study the question.”

“These medications ease cravings, prevent overdoses, and help people stay in treatment,” and, according to one advocate, “’the science and the research on this is clear. To wait any longer to do this is just going to result in needless loss of life.’”

News of Interest” links readers to stories and information related to grief after a death from substance use.

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