This Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) release describes the scope of the challenge of managing substance withdrawal in jails.
In addition, it provides an overview of key legislation and significant court cases related to substance withdrawal and outlines steps for creating a comprehensive response for individuals with substance use disorders. Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. (AHP), one of COSSAP’s TTA providers, developed it in partnership with BJA and the National Institute of Corrections (NIC), along with the support of the Georgetown University Law Center.
BJA, in partnership with NIC and in conjunction with the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC), the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), and AHP, are developing guidelines to help jail administrators in the detection and proper management of acute withdrawal from alcohol, sedative-hypnotic drugs, opioids, and stimulants among individuals in custody. Collectively, they are working with an expert advisory committee of clinical and non-clinical representatives (i.e., experts in addiction medicine, correctional health care, and jail administration) to guide the development of the guidelines, which will be informed by best and evidence-based medical practice while accounting for the practical realities of medically managed withdrawal in jails. It is anticipated that the guidelines will be published in Summer 2022, after a draft is reviewed by field stakeholders.