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Commentary: Best Practices for Delivering MOUD in Correctional Settings During the Pandemic

November 16, 2020

In an attempt to contain the spread of the coronavirus within their facilities, jails and prisons around the U.S. have put new policies in place that may impinge on efforts to treat the estimated 15 percent of incarcerated individuals with an opioid use disorder (OUD). To prevent this, FORE asked two health services researchers to highlight best practices for safely providing medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) in jails and prisons during the pandemic.

MOUD Provision in Correctional Settings During Time of COVID-19: Prevention and Solutions” by Nickolas Zaller, Ph.D., and Lauren Brinkley-Rubinstein, Ph.D., was published in the December issue of the Journal of Addiction Medicine. Zaller is a professor of health behavior and health education at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, while Brinkley-Rubinstein is an assistant professor of social medicine at the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Both researchers focus on the criminal justice system and its effects on addiction, mental health, and health outcomes. Zaller and Brinkley-Rubinstein also offer recommendations for how jails and prisons can promote high-quality treatment and prepare for future pandemics.