NHDOC expanding medically assisted treatment program in Berlin

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NHDOC chief medical officer Dr. Thomas Groblewski discusses requirements for the MAT program with a resident (NHDOC photo)

CONCORD, N.H. – The New Hampshire Department of Corrections (NHDOC) announced on Monday that it will be starting a widespread expansion of its Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT) program at the Northern New Hampshire Correctional Facility in Berlin.

Earlier this month, 23 residents at the facility in Berlin were seen in a one-day clinic after an assessment by licensed drug and alcohol counselors, nurses and mental health providers to assess their eligibility for the program.

Funding for the program comes from the State Opioid Response grant transferred from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. The grant also provides funding for two additional re-entry care coordinator positions will work with residents diagnosed with a substance use disorder (SUD) as they transition out to parole and into New Hampshire communities.

“The funding has enabled the NHDOC to expand the selection of medication available for treatment of a SUD to better align with the community models,” said Heidi Guinen, NHDOC Deputy Director of Forensic Services. “We now have additional tools to use to continue to individualize treatment for residents. Ultimately, we want to see all our residents healthier than they were when they arrived to our facilities.”

In addition to medication, residents will engage in psychosocial treatment in a model loosely based on the 2016 expansion of the Rhode Island Department of Corrections’ MAT program.

A study by the Journal of American Medicine showed a 61 percent decreased in overdose deaths following the changes in Rhode Island.