In Massachusetts, individuals returning to the community are up to 120 times more likely to experience a fatal overdose than the general population.
A 2018 Massachusetts law (“Chapter 208”) established a four-year pilot program to expand the use of all FDA-approved forms of medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) at five county jails; two additional jails voluntarily joined this pilot. The law stipulates that MOUD be maintained for individuals who were already receiving it prior to detention; initiated prior to release from jail when appropriate; and, continued in the community via facilitated linkages to local services after release.
The Massachusetts JCOIN Research Center is conducting a longitudinal treatment outcome study of individuals in these jails to examine MOUD initiation, engagement and retention, as well as fatal and non-fatal overdose and recidivism. The study will also identify strategies associated with the successful implementation of MOUD and inform the development of future strategies to address opioid use disorder in jails nationwide.
Study Settings: Jails/Prisons
Study Location: Massachusetts
- A qualitative study of big data and the opioid epidemic: recommendations for data governance (2020)
- Massachusetts Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (MassJCOIN) (2021)
- COVID-19 and treating incarcerated populations for opioid use disorder (2021)
- Uncommon and preventable: Perceptions of diversion of MOUD in jail (2022)
- Legislatively mandated implementation of medications for opioid use disorders in jails: A qualitative study of clinical, correctional, and jail administrator perspectives (2022)
- Medication for opioid use disorder treatment continuity post-release from jail: A qualitative study with community-based treatment providers (2022)
- Jail-based reentry programming to support continued treatment with medications for opioid use disorder: Qualitative perspectives and experiences among jail staff in Massachusetts (2022)
- “And Then COVID Hits”: A Qualitative Study of How Jails Adapted Services to Treat Opioid Use Disorder During COVID-19 (2023)
- COVID-19 impact on opioid overdose after jail release in Massachusetts (2023)
- Correlates and Patterns in Use of Medications to Treat Opioid Use Disorder in Jail (2023)
- Holyoke Early Access to Recovery and Treatment (HEART): A case study of a court-based intervention to reduce opioid overdose (2023)
- Use of Big Data and Ethical Issues for Populations with Substance Use Disorder (2023)
PI: Liz Evans, Peter Friedmann
• Evaluate MOUD delivery in jail and care coordination in the community
• Measure MOUD initiation, engagement, and retention in jail and in the community
• Track utilization of health services, health status, and recidivism following release from jail
• Identify best practices to scale-up the Chapter 208 pilot program
• Estimate the economic cost of implementing MOUD programs in jail
Clinical Trial, State Policy Rollout