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Kentucky Jails Treat Opioid Addiction

series: Pbs Newshour Weekend

air date: 10/08/17 6:30 PM

States hit hard by the opioid epidemic, like Kentucky, with the nation's third highest fatal drug overdose rate, are seeing a surge in jail populations fighting an addiction to opioids like painkiller pills and heroin. Despite the high levels of drug abuse among jail populations nationwide, few U.S. jails offer drug treatment programs. But in Kentucky, a third of the state's 83 jails do, and in Louisville, the majority of prisoners who participate in the jail's voluntary rehab program are addicted to opioids. Kentucky has found within the year following their release, three-quarters of prisoners who go through such programs statewide stay out of jail and stick with rehab. In Louisville, they're also helped by a controversial medication injected upon their release. NewsHour Weekend's Megan Thompson reports this story as part of the NewsHour series "America Addicted."

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