OUD is a treatable, chronic medical condition. Not treating OUD while someone is incarcerated leads to poor outcomes at release such as a higher risk of overdose and death. In fact, the risk of overdose death is 50 times greater than that of the general public within the first two weeks after release.
In 2023, with financial support provided by Vital Strategies, DRNC began an examination of the use of medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) in NC jails.
Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) is a disability and is protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Unfortunately, some people with an OUD may end up in a NC jail at some point. Many jails are not providing medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) even though it may violate the ADA. For example, it violates the ADA when the jail has a blanket policy against MOUD, or limits MOUD to only one type of medication, or only allows some populations (e.g., pregnant women) access to MOUD.
MOUD in Jail or Prison: Know Your Rights
Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a common medical condition that affects people from all walks of life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about 2.7 million people in the United States are living with OUD.
MOUD in Jail: Share your story
If you, or a loved one, have an opioid use disorder (OUD) and went to jail in NC, Disability Rights NC would like to hear more about your experience. Please fill out our online form or call 919-856-2195.
OUD and Substance Use Disorder Resources
When you have an Opioid Use or Substance Use Disorder, it can be hard to find the help that you need. DRNC has developed a statewide list of resources.
Illegal Drug Use and Medications for Opioid Use Disorder – ADA Protections for People Entering Jail (& Prisons)
The road to recovery from an opioid use disorder (OUD) is not always a direct path. People with an OUD will sometimes relapse, even while taking medications to help with their recovery.