On Jan. 4, the Washington County Jail initiated the Medications for Opioid Use Disorder Program. MOUD, also known as Medication Assisted Treatment, involves the use of Food and Drug Administration-approved medications as an effective, evidence-based method to treat Opioid Use Disorder, according to a press release from the county. The potential benefits of this program include saving lives by reducing the likelihood of overdoes; breaking the cycle of re-incarceration commonly associated with substance use disorders; increasing retention in treatment and providing a path to long-term recovery for jail inmates; creating a safer, more supportive environment in the jail for staff and inmates.

The 2020 data that is available so far has shown an increase in opioid-related overdose deaths across Minnesota and the metro, the release states. This program and other opioid response efforts have become even more urgent during the coronavirus pandemic.

The MOUD Program is part of a broader strategy at Washington County to support individuals with substance use disorders and mental health conditions, with a particular focus on facilitating a coordinated transition into the community after release from jail.

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