COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) — Some inmates at Camille Griffin Graham Correctional Institution will soon have a new tool to treat their substance use disorder.
This week, the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) announced a partnership with Pear Therapeutics to launch a digital drug therapy for female inmates. The program is being funded by the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS) with the help of a federal grant.
Through the pilot program, they’ll be able to offer FDA-authorized prescription digital therapeutics to support women inmates in recovery from opioid and other substance use disorders. Officials say this first of its kind collaboration in a correctional setting supports eligible patients to be prescribed and treated with reSET or reSET-O to help the facility expand access to addiction services.
DAODAS Director Sara Goldsby said the program is self paced and self driven. Inmates will also have specialists who will help guide them through the therapy and support them in person and online.
Inmates will be able to go through behavioral therapy programs with the help of tablets provided by the prison. The program also promotes abstinence based recovery.
SCDC Director Bryan Stirling said this was a ‘force multiplier’ and supports the services offered by state prison officials.
Officials said they’ll monitor the impacts of the program for up to a year and could possibly expand it to other prisons in the system.
“Since this is a first of it’s kind program in a correctional setting, the information we receive and outcomes we evaluate will let us know if this scalable and spreadable,” Goldsby said.
According to Stirling, the benefits outweigh the costs of the programs. He said it will help keep inmates safe in prison and once they reenter society.
Data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) shows 85% of the prison population in the United States has an active substance use disorder or were incarcerated for a crime involving drugs or drug use.
Officials also said inmates with opioid use disorder are at a higher risk for overdose following release from incarceration.