Ozark Correctional Center and St. Louis Outpatient partner in ground breaking MAT Pilot Project

Gateway's Ozark Correctional Center (OCC) and St. Louis Outpatient programs are partnering with several state and private agencies to bring addiction medication assisted treatment inside the institutional setting in a ground breaking Missouri pilot project. These two Gateway programs are partnering with the Missouri Departments of Corrections and Mental Health, Alkermes Pharmaceutical, Corizon Correctional Healthcare and the Missouri Institute of Mental Health to provide Vivitrol to inmate/clients of OCC who will continue their treatment upon release at our St. Louis Outpatient program. This pre-release introduction of MAT within a correctional system is one of the only projects of its type in the United States, and has been in the development phase in Missouri for several years.

Gateway has been providing Medication Assisted treatment in our St. Louis Outpatient program for several years. It has been well known, and research tells us that the first few days and weeks that an offender is released from incarceration is the most vulnerable period of their early recovery. Introducing Vivitrol to OCC clients a few days prior to release can provide an additional source of recovery "insurance" to assist the newly released, newly recovering client by blocking the effects of alcohol and opiates. Although this medication does not provide a cure all or panacea, it adds another evidence based tool to the various other research driven treatment interventions that Gateway's Correction Division programs are currently using.

The other partners mentioned above are fulfilling the roles of medical screening and administration (Corizon); funding, oversight and supervision (Departments of Correction and Mental Health), provision of 50 doses of Vivitrol (Alkermes) and project evaluation (Missouri Institute of Mental Health), while Gateway's Ozark and St. Louis programs provide the treatment continuum from 12-24 months of in-custody treatment at OCC to 4-12 months of individualized outpatient treatment upon release in St. Louis. Please keep your eyes open for future reports on the outcomes of this exciting project; another step toward helping reduce recidivism by rebuilding lives.