Middlesex Sheriff’s Office praises granting of $139,647 to continue anti-drug initiative

From Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian, July 11, 2017: Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian thanked the administration of Gov. Charlie Baker for awarding the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office a nearly $140,000 grant to continue ongoing efforts to address the opioid epidemic in the county.

Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Executive Office of Public Safety and Security Secretary Daniel Bennett recently announced the $139,647 award from the Heroin and Opioid Crime Reduction Renewal Grant. This is the second consecutive year the administration has awarded the grant to the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office.

“I want to thank Gov. Baker and his administration for their continued efforts to implement and support initiatives aimed at stemming the tide of the opioid crisis,” Koutoujian said. “This grant will assist our endeavors to help those individuals placed in our custody address their substance use disorders and reduce their likelihood to recidivate.”

Funds from this grant will support the continuation of a Medication Assisted Treatment and Directed Opioid Recovery Program, a six-month, post-release initiative. Called Matador, it incorporates the use of an injectable form of Naltrexone – a non-habit forming, non-narcotic, long-lasting medication that blocks the effects of opioids – and counseling and support from a patient navigator. The grant will also continue funding for two long-term treatment beds at Lowell House designated for program participants.

Through the first 20 months of the initiative, the Koutoujian’s office said it has seen a measured impact on recidivism, with less than 10 percent of total program participants having been convicted of a new crime.

In total, $2.3 million dollars was awarded statewide through the competitive grant program this cycle.

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