Atlantic County jail

The Atlantic County jail in Mays Landing

MAYS LANDING — Atlantic County officials are planning an expansion of their jail’s medical assistance treatment program to provide more services at an in-house facility for inmates battling addiction.

A new opioid treatment service facility will provide medical, counseling and related services for inmates, County Executive Dennis Levinson said Tuesday in a news release.

“We now want to provide an in-house opioid treatment services facility that will include a patient dosing station, physical examination room, phlebotomy room and counseling office,” he said.

Currently, the jail has a mobile “Recovery on Wheels” dispensing unit through the John Brooks Recovery Center, the designated treatment provider for the jail.

The mobile methadone clinic, managed by and staffed with experts from the Brooks center, county jail and Jewish Family Service, is intended to treat pregnant women abusing opioids or on methadone, any inmate already using methadone and addicted people at high risk of recidivism, according to previous reports. It was part of a state pilot program to bridge a gap in services.

Nearly 80% of addicts released from jail are re-arrested compared with 45% of those who have received treatment, according to the center.

“We were the first,” Levinson said. “And our program has been so successful, treating and providing referrals for more than 750 individuals, that the state has agreed to provide $8 million in funding for medication-assisted treatment at all county jails.”

The jail has been renovated to include the in-house facility and has applied for state funding to support services like peer-to-peer recovery and case management, according to the release.

“There are very few of us who have not been impacted by the opioid crisis,” Levinson said. “In Atlantic County, we are taking steps to help these individuals get counseling and treatment and break the insidious cycle of addiction.”