NY lawmakers mull providing more addiction meds behind bars

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Time is running out for legislation in New York that would expand access to medication-assisted treatment for inmates in state prisons and jails.

The measure would make more state funding available for drugs such as methadone and suboxone that experts say greatly improve inmates’ chances of recovery.

While the legislation has passed the state Senate it hasn’t yet been scheduled for a vote in the state Assembly.

With lawmakers set to adjourn their annual session later this week, advocates are worried prisons may have to go another year without the services.

Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple says his department has helped 120 inmates struggling with substance abuse with its own self-funded medication program. He said a small investment by the state could yield big savings by helping inmates get clean.

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