Clark Co. Jail to focus on inmate addiction

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – The Clark County Sheriff’s Office is putting new focus on jail inmates who are suffering from drug withdrawal symptoms.

Sheriff Gene Kelly met Wednesday with the team of professionals who regularly deal with inmates to discuss new protocols in inmate treatment. The sheriff believes that addiction is an illness that can be treated and with the overwhelming growth of opiate use, now is the time to make positive change.

The drug naltrexone will be made available to help address the opiate addiction epidemic in Clark County. Staff will be trained on how to administer the drug properly.

“Naltrexone has been effective as an aid to successful treatment. The cravings are reduced and the person can focus on the learning and life change necessary for long-term recovery from a chronic illness,” said Wendy Doolittle, CEO of McKinley Hall.

Doolittle says counseling and family and peer support are two other keys to the new protocol’s success.

Clark County Coroner Dr. Richard Marsh says his office recorded 38 suspected accidental overdoses in the county so far this year. The number of deaths have dramatically increased from 2010 to 2014 from 1 death to 20.

Sheriff Kelly says deputies will also begin to transport released inmates directly to the McKinley Hall treatment facility upon release.

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