Former Mayor Bloomberg visits ACI to learn about opioid treatment program
Governor Gina Raimondo welcomed former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg to Rhode Island.
"Bloomberg Philanthropies is about to start a program to fund some studies and programs we think will help. But this time we took a look and RI was actually doing something interesting,” Mayor Bloomberg said.
On one of his stops in the state, he visited the ACI to learn more about the medication assisted treatment program. Inmates can be put on treatment, if necessary, within a day after intake.
Before the program launched in 2016, treatment didn’t exist for every inmate suffering from addiction.
"We’ve seen a 60% decline in overdose deaths of formerly incarcerated people coming out of these prison systems who received MAT," said Governor Raimondo.
George O’Toole now works at Anchor Recovery, but he’s been through the system himself.
"I spent over 20 years of my life incarcerated for a variety of crimes - but it all centered around drug addiction," he said.
He says medication-assisted treatment wasn't available when he was in prison, and he went back to using the day he got out.
Many state prisons offer no medication to inmates suffering from addiction. Raimondo hopes Rhode Island serves as a model for other states.