VIRGINIA (WFXR) — The Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) has announced that it will receive more than $1.2 million to fund three projects aimed at addressing Substance Use Disorder (SUD).

  • The first project will fund six contracted, specialized clinical social workers to support opioid-use disorder therapies. The Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) programs will be hosted at six facilities.
  • The second project is a pilot program that will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of injecting opioids in inmates who have been diagnosed with SUD.
  • Lastly, the VDOC will be creating a video that provides information on SUD to all inmates who are taken into custody

“The Virginia Department of Corrections greatly appreciates this funding from the Virginia Opioid Abatement Authority,” said VADOC Director Chadwick Dotson. “The VADOC remains committed to addressing Substance Use Disorder in the face of the opioid and fentanyl epidemic affecting the Commonwealth and United States.”

In 2017, the VADOC was selected by the National Governor’s Association to participate in a learning lab that was designed to create strategies for inmates and probationers who struggle with SUD. It was also created to access addiction treatment. Over the last six years, the Department continued to introduce initiatives for inmates who are struggling with the disorder.

In July 2018, the Medicated Assisted Treatment Reentry Initiative provided intensive SUD programs and naltrexone to people who were released from specific pilot sites. Naltrexone is an injectable medication that can help prevent relapses into alcohol or substance abuse.

However, as the MATRI program expanded, it was introduced to the Community Corrections Alternative Program facilities. Now the program is being used across the VADOC.

The Department says there are a variety of levels of SUD care offered throughout the VADOC. This includes treatment services, peer mentor and peer support services, intensive outpatient groups, and more.