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New program helping inmates in Collier County recover from opioid abuse

Posted at 8:57 AM, Nov 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-02 08:57:00-04

COLLIER CO., Fla. — A new drug recovery program is helping inmates in Collier County rehabilitate while serving time.

Specifically, for those inmates suffering from opioid addiction.

It’s been about three years in the making and those behind-the-scenes tell Fox 4 they have been working for years with the county as well as Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

It’s being made possible through a three-year criminal justice, mental health and substance abuse (CJMHSA) reinvestment grant. A little more than $1 million, that grant was awarded by the Florida Department of Children and Families.

The David Lawrence Center, a local behavioral healthcare service provider, will be the ones providing case management, recovery support and treatment. Their chief operating officer, Nancy Dauphinais, says there are many inmates currently suffering from substance abuse. MAT- or medication assisted treatment- she says can help sustain recovery for those addicts.

"They are not always able to receive the medication that’s indicated for that substance abuse disorder," said Dauphinais. "So we’ve been developing a program so that we can get those needed medications to individuals while they’re in jail so that they will have better outcomes when they’re released.”

With the funding, treatment will be offered in jail as well as care coordination once they’re released to continue their recovery. The Collier County Sheriff’s Office will be funding the nursing staff and medications when it comes to treatment services.

This new program also goes in hand with the county’s new five-year strategic plan for mental health and addiction services. That plan includes increasing the use of practices for treating addiction and improving judicial response for those experiencing substance abuse.

This grant will provide funding for the program for the next three years.