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MAT in Rural Jails Episode 2: A Social Service Provider's Perspective

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June 26, 2023

Welcome to the Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Use Program (COSSUP) podcast series featuring conversations with guests about medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in rural jails. This series offers listeners an opportunity to learn from individuals who are involved in providing MAT and recovery support within rural jails. Each of the five podcasts offers a unique perspective based on the role of the guest: a jail medical staff administrator, a peer specialist, a community-based medical provider, an MAT program coordinator, and a jail administrator. They share their lessons learned and experience addressing challenges commonly faced by jails and their partners when implementing MAT.

West Tennessee Healthcare’s Pathways Behavioral Health Services (Pathways) provides mental health and substance use disorder services to residents of approximately 60 counties in Tennessee, a state that is predominantly rural. Services are delivered in seven offices and three peer support centers, as well as via telehealth.

For nearly 5 years, services have included medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for individuals while in jail and upon reentry to the community. In 2022, Pathways became certified as an office-based opioid treatment setting. Pathways administers naltrexone and buprenorphine to approximately 200 individuals every month.

In this podcast, Courtney Collier, Telehealth Coordinator and Peer Specialist for Pathways, discusses his experience working with individuals receiving MAT while in jail custody or upon transition to the community. He shares his insights on overcoming stigma, building community partnerships, using telehealth, and tapping the “power of the peer.”

A transcript of this podcast is available.