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1540 WADK.com Updates

White House drug official visits RI prison program

A new Rhode Island prison program that provides medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction is getting attention from the Obama administration's top drug official.

White House Director of National Drug Control Policy Michael Botticelli toured the state women's prison in Cranston on Tuesday.

The state budget that was passed last month adds $2 million to a pilot program treating inmates with methadone and other medications to reduce their dependence on opioids.

Botticelli says providing good treatment in prison makes people less likely to commit crimes and less likely to overdose when they're released. He wants Rhode Island's program to be replicated nationwide.

The state Department of Corrections has had a limited medication-assisted treatment program since the 1990s, but it's being significantly expanded this year to reduce the state's fatal overdose crisis.

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