Despite the protections laid out in the Eighth Amendment, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and American Bar Association (ABA) Standards, individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD) who require medication assisted treatment (MAT) while incarcerated continue to be stripped of their right to proper medical treatment. While there is existing scholarship on whether access to MAT violates the Eighth Amendment, this scholarship is relying on one court case that relies on misinterpretation of the Food and Drug Administration regulations. There is scant scholarship addressing access to medication assisted treatment in correctional facilities under the ADA. This article demonstrates the clear discriminatory approval of MAT in correctional facilities by comparing court-approved use in cases where the individual had a physical condition versus the rejected use for OUD. This article illuminates that the clear expectations and protections under the Eighth Amendment, ADA and ABA Standards are not being followed by correctional facility due to the perception policy makers have towards individuals with OUD. This article means to show that the response by correctional facilities towards providing medication assisted treatment to individuals with opioid use disorder is a glaring symptom of a pervasive and anachronistic misconception of the nature of the disease. Ideally, this article will open discussion for alternative ways individuals with OUD can receive proper medical treatment for their disability.
Shianne M. Bowlin,
Resolving the Overlooked Tragedy in Correctional Facilities: Medication Assisted Treatment Access for Inmates,
Lincoln Mem’l U. L. Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lmunet.edu/lmulrev/vol8/iss1/8