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Massachusetts Study Finds Released Prisoners at Risk for Overdose

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A  study conducted by  researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine, the University of Massachusetts Amherst and University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School-Baystate, has called for bridge doses of medication for released jail inmates receiving medication-assisted treatment programs for opioid use disorder. According to the study, people released from jail or prison are 120 times more likely to overdose on opioids than the general population in Massachusetts, reports the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

The study also called better communication and phone access as incarcerated individuals transition back into the community from Massachusetts county jails.  In 2018, Massachusetts lawmakers mandated expanded access to medication-assisted treatments like buprenorphin. “As people are released from jail, their ability to continue life-saving treatment largely depends on innovative collaborations that have been established between community treatment providers and jails,” said Liz Evans, professor of public health at UMass Amherst and co-principal investigator of the study.

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