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Opioid Use Disorder Screening and Treatment in Local Jails, 2019

NCJ Number
Laura M. Maruschak; Todd D. Minton; Zhen Zeng
Date Published
April 2023
25 pages

This report provides data on the screening and treatment practices of local jail jurisdictions for opioid use disorder. It presents the prevalence of screenings among jail admissions and rates of positive screenings. It describes the prevalence of jail admissions receiving medication for opioid withdrawal and of the confined population receiving medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder. The report also details differences by jail characteristics and state rates of opioid overdose deaths.


  • At midyear 2019, more than 6 in 10 (63%) local jail jurisdictions reported that they conducted opioid use disorder (OUD) screenings of persons at intake, and fewer than 2 in 10 (19%) jurisdictions said that they initiated medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for those identified as having OUD.
  • Between June 1 and June 30, 2019, about 80% of persons admitted to local jails in the Northeast, 68% in the West, 62% in the South, and 61% in the Midwest were screened for opioid use disorder (OUD).
  • Urban jails (69%) screened a larger percentage of admissions for OUD than rural jails (53%) between June 1 and June 30, 2019; however, a greater percentage of screenings in rural jails (19%) than in urban jails (13%) were positive.
  • Between June 1 and June 30, 2019, 16% of persons admitted to jails in the Northeast were treated for opioid withdrawal, compared to 4% of those admitted to jails in the Midwest, South, and West.
  • About 28% of local jail jurisdictions linked persons with OUD to MAT in the community and 25% provided overdose reversal medications to persons with OUD upon release.