“A grant announcement issued by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) last month to fund drug courts contains an important new condition: drug courts funded by the grants would no longer be allowed to tell offenders to stop taking medications to treat opioid use disorders. Many drug court judges have opposed methadone or buprenorphine and required participants to stop taking them. Drug courts prefer either abstinence or Vivitrol.
From the SAMHSA Request for Applications (RFA): “Under no circumstances may a drug court judge, other judicial official, correctional supervision officer, or any other staff connected to the identified drug court deny the use of these medications when made available to the client under the care of a properly authorized physician and pursuant to a valid prescription and under the conditions described above.”
The grant language refers to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and includes methadone, buprenorphine, oral naltrexone, Vivitrol (injectable 30-day naltrexone) and other medications.”