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June 26, 2023

MAT in Rural Jails Episode 3: A Community-based MAT Provider’s Perspective

Welcome to the Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Use Program (COSSUP) podcast series featuring conversations with guests about medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in rural jails. This series offers listeners an opportunity to learn from individuals who are involved in providing MAT and recovery support within rural jails. Each of the five podcasts offers a unique perspective based on the role of the guest: a jail medical staff administrator, a peer specialist, a community-based medical provider, an MAT program coordinator, and a jail administrator. They share their lessons learned and experience addressing challenges commonly faced by jails and their partners when implementing MAT.

The Community Health Center of Franklin County (CHCFC), located in Greenfield, Massachusetts, serves the most rural area of the commonwealth. CHCFC works directly with the Franklin County House of Correction to provide medication-assisted treatment, cofunding a community health worker who helps with release planning and transitions.

The jail began offering injectable naltrexone in 2015. Within 4 years, it was also offering buprenorphine and methadone, thereby providing all three medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treating opioid use disorder. Notably, the Franklin County House of Corrections is one of the first jails in the nation with an accredited and certified opioid treatment program.

In this podcast, Rachel Katz, Director of CHCFC’s Office-based Addiction Treatment Program, discusses dismantling both internal and external stigma through education, building community buy-in of medications for opioid use disorder, and collaboratively building a safety net for individuals with substance use disorders who are transitioning from incarceration to the community. She advocates for a shift in the medical paradigm to reduce discriminatory practices and improve accessibility to effective treatment.

A transcript of this podcast is available.

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