The Virginia Department of Corrections will receive more than $1.2 million to fund three projects in 2024 aimed at addressing substance use disorders. The funds are from the Virginia Opioid Abatement Authority.
The approved projects were selected through a competitive application review process. The awards are the first allocation of OAA funds for state agencies since Virginia received its first set of national settlement payments from manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioids in 2022.
“The Virginia Department of Corrections greatly appreciates this funding from the Virginia Opioid Abatement Authority,” said VADOC Director Chadwick Dotson. “The VADOC remains committed to addressing substance use disorder in the face of the opioid and fentanyl epidemic affecting the Commonwealth and United States.”
- The first project will fund six contracted, specialized clinical social workers to support opioid-use disorder therapies at six VADOC facilities that operate medication assisted treatment programs.
- The second is a pilot program to evaluate the effectiveness of long-acting injectable opioid agonists in the continued care of inmates with diagnosed opioid use disorders, which will be overseen by the VADOC’s medical director.
- The third project is the creation of a video that provides substance use disorder education to all inmates entering VADOC custody. The video will focus on addiction as a chronic, yet treatable illness and will highlight the program options that are available to inmates within the VADOC.
VADOC has provided rapid REVIVE! training and two doses of naloxone to inmates and probationers released from 15 pilot locations since 2019.
Additionally, the Department recently implemented a marketing campaign using posters drawn by incarcerated individuals to dissuade illicit substance use while incarcerated.
Various levels of care are offered throughout the VADOC, including residential inpatient services, intensive outpatient groups, process groups, and peer mentor and peer support services.
For those on community supervision, the VADOC offers contracted treatment services with vendors and community services boards that include inpatient residential treatment, intensive outpatient, and assessment and referral services.
Continuing education and training on substance use disorder is an important aspect of service delivery. The VADOC offers various forms of virtual and in-person training and opportunities to attend addiction-specific conferences and webinars to further addiction education.
More information about the VADOC’s re-entry resources can be found here.