New Program Allows Tulsa County Inmates To Receive Addiction Treatment


Tuesday, March 3rd 2020, 6:43 pm
By: Mallory Thomas


Tulsa County inmates now have the opportunity to not only get off of addicting opioids through detox, but they can also get help from a treatment program while serving their time.

It's the first of its kind in the state of Oklahoma. Like many opioid addicts Robert Susman said there was a time his only focus was heroin.

"I cried out to God that I can't do this on my own anymore," said Susman.

He said less than 72 hours later, he was booked into the Tulsa County jail and noticed a sign that changed his life.

"That said, if you're an opioid addict let us know. I can't remember verbatim, but it said we'll help you," said Susman.

Tulsa County inmates at David L. Moss can get help through a treatment program that uses medication to stop addiction.

"The Buprenorphine helps cravings and prevents them from withdrawing while the naltrexone blocks the opioid receptors in their brain, and that prevents them from getting high," said Shirley Hadden, Health Services Administrator Turn Key Health Clinics.

She said David L. Moss is the first in the state to get the program and they're working to expand it to 31 other jails.

Tulsa County Sheriff Vic Regalado said it's important to address mental health and addiction issues before inmates get out of jail. 

"As opposed to just letting someone sit in jail, we can use that time to address their addictions and hopefully be in partnership with the private and public sector," said Sheriff Regalado.

"We were doing most of this already. The only extra cost for the medical program was the drug screens," said Hadden. She said more than 100 people participated in the program. Inmates said the program has given them hope.

"It's pretty cool because people come to my cell to do their daily bread. Out there, people came to me to get high. It's cool how it's just reversed," said Tulsa County jail inmate Josiah Cody.

"Pretty much, you've taken away my craving to do the drug and then if I try to do the drug, I can't get high so therefore I'm not going to do the drug. That eliminates crime and all different kinds of things for the community that happen because of this horrible drug," said Susman.

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