The ACLU of Maine joined a case on behalf of Brenda Smith, who uses physician-prescribed medication to keep her opioid use disorder in remission. Treatment with MAT enables Ms. Smith to live free from the devastating symptoms of addiction.
In January 2019, Ms. Smith will report to the Aroostook County Jail, where medication assisted treatment (MAT) is prohibited for all inmates except for pregnant women. Because she is not pregnant, these policies will force Ms. Smith into withdrawal from her physician-prescribed treatment, and she will suffer painful and psychologically damaging withdrawal and will be at a greater risk for relapse into addiction, potential overdose, and death.
The lawsuit charges this denial of treatment violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.