Withholding methadone from inmates is wrong

Thursday, June 7, 2018
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Warren J. Ferguson, MD
University of Massachusetts Medical School

$1.2 billion in taxpayer dollars will be spent on incarcerated individuals in the Commonwealth this year alone. Warren Ferguson, the board chair of the Academic Consortium on Criminal Justice Health, believes that spending a portion of this amount on methadone, a drug used to treat opioid use disorders, could have dramatic positive results on the 1/3 of inmates with narcotic addictions in Massachusetts prisons. Despite the 45-year long history of success methadone has had in treating opioid use disorders, the drug has yet to be approved for use in this state.

In an opinion piece for CommonWealth magazine, Ferguson shares real world examples of how methadone has proven it's efficacy in other states and makes the case for why this drug needs to be approved immediately for use in Massachusetts prisons.