A year after the Buncombe County Detention Facility expanded its medication-assisted treatment program, Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller says it’s time to put the successful service “in four-wheel drive.”
“We’ve tried to arrest our way out of the drug epidemic for decades, and it hasn’t worked,” says Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller. Now, a new program at the Buncombe County Detention Facility is providing medication-assisted treatment to incarcerated people with substance-use disorder. Studies show MAT is an effective treatment for addiction, which can reduce recidivism and lower the risk of overdose.
Over 100 members of the community attended Let’s Talk Opioids, described as a “community update and conversation on opioid crisis response in Buncombe County.” The standing room-only crowd listened as in-the-trenches experts presented information, including the Mountain Area Health Education Center, Vaya Health, Asheville Fire Department, Buncombe County Health and Human Services and the N.C. Department of Justice.
Through medication-assisted treatment, inmates with opioid addiction could receive drugs such as naltrexone or buprenorphine, in conjunction with counseling and therapy, to help them avoid returning to dangerous substances such as heroin or fentanyl.