Snohomish County Jail starts opioid withdrawal pilot program

SEATTLE (AP) — Snohomish County Jail has launched a new pilot program to offer inmates treatment for opioid withdrawals.

KING-TV reports that the sheriff’s office announced the program on Wednesday. The sheriff’s office says the program aims to lessen the chance of inmates relapsing when they are released.

The inmates will be supplied with Suboxone, a prescription medication that rapidly decreases opioid withdrawal symptoms.

The program allows inmates to move into general housing while on assisted detox. Before the pilot program, inmates would be housed in the jail’s medical unit for at least three days while they underwent a hard withdrawal.

The sheriff’s office says that since 2013, Snohomish County Jail’s medical unit has been regularly at 200 percent capacity with more than 90 percent of those inmates in opioid withdrawal care.