COVINGTON, Ga. - NaphCare, Inc., a leading correctional healthcare company, and the Newton County Sheriff’s Office announced implementation of a new and improved approach to assisting opioid-addicted patients in the Newton County Jail during the often-dangerous withdrawal process.
The new approach provides tapered administration of an opioid treatment medication called buprenorphine to assist patients with severe and sometimes life-threatening symptoms with a safer withdrawal.
“Not long ago, medical schools taught that opioid withdrawal was not life threatening,” Emily Feely, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for NaphCare, said. “Today, we know better. Opioid withdrawal can result in dehydration and electrolyte imbalances that can become critical. We believe that the best approach is to minimize the withdrawal symptoms by administering a buprenorphine taper, rather than allowing symptoms to progress and managing them afterward.”
As the opioid epidemic continues to grip America, hundreds of people addicted to these dangerous drugs are booked into jails daily. In a two-year period, NaphCare has recorded a 100-percent increase in patients requiring medical care for opioid withdrawal in the jails in which they provide medical services. NaphCare is on a mission to improve the care of people suffering from opioid-withdrawal in America’s jails, partnering with correctional systems such as Newton County.
“Improving the quality of life in our community is our top priority,” Sheriff Ezell Brown said. “As we see it, that includes providing the most comprehensive care possible to those who are incarcerated with the goal of returning them safely into the community. Rather than taking a standard approach to opioid-withdrawal treatment, we believe there is great value to the community at large in taking a more proactive approach that will save lives.”
With the addition of the Newton County Jail, NaphCare has launched its opioid withdrawal treatment program in two jails in the state of Georgia, including one of the country’s largest jails in Fulton County, Ga., as well as in 18 additional jails across the country.