Rising opioid overdoses spur Morris County jail to open recovery unit

The Morris County jail is soon going to have a drug/alcohol addiction recovery unit to help inmates deal with their addiction problems. According to an official release, Morris County Sheriff James Gannon has collaborated with CARES (Center for Addiction Recovery Education & Success) and Morris County Department of Human Services to open the recovery unit, referred to as the Hope Wing.

The unit will focus on treating inmates incarcerated within the Morris County Correctional Facility. They will learn to deal with their addiction problems through different daily programs, including anger management, education, relapse prevention, relationship development, spirituality and peer-to-peer counseling.

This new unit is an extension of Sheriff Gannon’s Hope One program. Under this program, a team of support personnel – comprising a licensed clinician, a Sheriff’s officer and a certified peer recovery specialist – travel through the county in a mobile recovery access vehicle twice a week. The team intends to provide critical medical assistance to people with addiction, and prevent drug overdoses and deaths.

The new initiative is another attempt to control the growing menace of opioid abuse in Morris County. According to media reports, fatal opioid overdoses increased from 43 in 2015 to 62 in 2016 in the county. The Morris County Sheriff opposed the old idea of punishing drug users while emphasizing the need of helping them recover from opioid addiction. “If we can get the inmates the help they need to combat their opioid and other drug/alcohol addictions during their incarceration, we will greatly reduce dependency related crimes being committed post-incarceration,” he said.

Hope Wing focuses on four specific components that, according to him, are cornerstones of an individual’s successful rehabilitation post-incarceration. The components are employment, housing, education and aftercare support services. Therefore, experts at the correctional facility employ effective community outreach programs to assist inmates address those key issues. Inmates are required to comply with a weekly schedule, prepared by certified alcohol and drug counselors on staff at the jail. Counselors conduct daily sessions to assist inmates overcome their addiction.

The Police Department of Dixon, Illinois, initiated a similar experiment of treating rather than punishing people involved in drug misuse/abuse. The program, called Safe Passage, allows people with a heroin addiction to approach the police or sheriff’s department and surrender their drugs and related equipment. In return, the police department does not arrest them and arrange a treatment program for them. Until now, the program has helped around 53 people with direct treatment, without making arrests.

Dealing with addiction

According to a Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) report, around 1,488,707 people were arrested for drug abuse violations in 2015 in the country. Moreover, authorities arrested an estimated 1,089,1710, people for driving under influence. Law enforcers in different states are doing their bit to help people serving jail terms for involvement in drug-related charges. However, one may avoid a jail term by seeking professional help during their court trials.

Sovereign Health’s Court Services division assists people with drug-related legal issues. The leading rehab facility offers legal support to people in need. Though the company does not provide legal counsel or representation, it accompanies its patients to court and helps them settle the matter with the judge and the attorney. We offer effective assistance to mental health patients charged with or convicted of a non-violent, non-serious drug-related offense in different states of the United States. Sovereign Health tries that people battling addiction get treatment rather than imprisonment. You can contact us at our helpline number 866-439-7698 for more information about our services.

October 3, 2017

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