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"It gives you a window to try to figure your life out" - getting jailed addicts on a new path

Jillian Kern/Flickr

Many people don't have a lot of sympathy for an addict going through withdrawal in a jail cell.

Detoxing from opiods is so awful many addicts would rather keep using, but multiple studies on unsupervised detox (mainly in prison) indicates it's not just uncomfortable, it can be fatal.

Who cares?  St. Louis County does.  With higher rates of substance abuse than Minnesota or the country as a whole, and coming in third in heroin and opiod overdose deaths in the state, that's a lot of addicted people and a lot of deaths.

Judge Shaun Floerke knows a thing or two about substance abuse and the criminal justice system. He presides over the South St. Louis County DWI Court and he helped the County write a grant application.

Now there are two grants available: one to provide medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for people in or recently released from the county jail, and one to help people stay clean and sober while they get help to get their lives back on track.

You can see the video Shaun Floerke mentioned, Addiction Neuroscience 101, here:

More information about the Planning Initiative to Build Bridges Between Jail and Community-Based Treatment for Opiod Use Disorder is here.

Lisa Johnson started her broadcast career anchoring the television news at her high school and spinning country music at KWWK/KOLM Radio in Rochester, Minnesota. She was a reporter and news anchor at KTHI in Fargo, ND (not to mention the host of a children's program called "Lisa's Lane") and a radio reporter and anchor in Moorhead, Bismarck, Wahpeton and Fergus Falls.Since 1991, she has hosted Northland Morning on KUMD. One of the best parts of her job includes "paying it forward" by mentoring upcoming journalists and broadcasters on the student news team that helps produce Northland Morning. She also loves introducing the different people she meets in her job to one another, helping to forge new "community connections" and partnerships.Lisa has amassed a book collection weighing over two tons, and she enjoys reading, photography, volunteering with Animal Allies Humane Society and fantasizing about farmland. She goes to bed at 8pm, long before her daughter, two cats, or three dogs.
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