Detoxing in Jail: Treating Opioid Use Behind Bars | NBC Left Field

Detoxing in Jail: Treating Opioid Use Behind Bars | NBC Left Field


In Bellingham, Washington, a recent class action lawsuit by the ACLU may impact how inmates across the country are treated for addiction. Following a settlement, the Whatcom County Jail now provides inmates suffering from opioid use disorder with medication-assisted treatment (MAT) services. In Washington state, released prisoners are 13 times more likely to die by overdose than the rest of the American population. For inmates like Cordelia and Brooke, access to Suboxone has vastly improved their experience of detoxing in jail.

* Watch the latest from NBC LEFT FIELD:




Video journalist
Sutton Raphael



NBC Left Field is a new internationally-minded video troupe that makes short, creative documentaries and features specially designed for social media and set-top boxes. Our small team of cinematographers, journalists, animators and social media gurus aims to unearth stories and breathe creative life into current headlines. While pushing boundaries at home and abroad, NBC Left Field will also be serving as an experimental hub for NBC News style, treatment and audience engagement.


5 thoughts on “Detoxing in Jail: Treating Opioid Use Behind Bars | NBC Left Field

  1. This nurse Is crazy if she thinks Tylenol is so-called โ€œpain medicationโ€ in the context of opioid withdrawal. And withdrawal is 100x worse than the flu.

  2. I’m honestly blown away that a country as rich as America doesn’t offer withdrawal medication in prison. In the UK, the day u go in you’re offered a maintenance or detox script. If done correctly, prison can actually be a turning point for many addicts, and the break from the streets they need to kick their addiction.

  3. WITHIN 90 DAY’S ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

    If you watch the videos on YouTube where inmates dies from withdrawal it happens in the first 3-5 days. I can ONLY imagine the life changing suffering that an opiate dependant individual would experience detoxing in a setting such as jail/prison. Yup, I Totally Understand that they “did the crime now they have to do the time” but being physically dependant on an illegal narcotic(worst way to state it) or a prescription medication(nicest way to state it) that is a WHOLE DIFFERENT SITUATION. That alone, HONESTLY is probably the WORST form of torture a Human Being can experience. The combination of the setting plus the physical and mental experience the body will go through, if they make it, will definitely have permanent effects. No questions about it. PTSD, anxiety, nervousness etc. May God have mercy and provide anyone who may be in this situation with strength and MERCY MERCY MERCY MERCY MERCY MERCY while they are there ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ.

  4. People withdrawal is hell! Stop judging, before u say shit like its their fault, consider… Ive NEVER touched an illegal drug, i have health problems, got addicted to my pain meds (not my choice) once my pain dr abadonded me because or (war on opiates) i entered withdrawal, didnt even know what it was! If someone wouldve offered me heroin and said it eould make it stop, i wouldve, its that bad

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *