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Butler County taxpayers pay over $200,000 bill for inmate medical care

“We’ve had some interesting issues in the prison, we’ve had a quadriplegic here for a while and it’s extremely distressing, we’re not prepared for that kind of care, but we had to find a way to deal with it. face,” Dwyer said. “There was a service for some kinds of home stuff that we brought in for some of the needs that were beyond the medical staff, you just hand out the cards that are given to you.”

To exploreButler County Sheriff plans $325,000 budget for inmate drugs in 2020

Dwyer estimated that around 80% of inmates have medical or substance abuse issues that require treatment in prison facilities that typically house around 1,000 people. The pharmacy bill does not include addiction medication.

According to Executive Director Scott Rasmus, the Butler County Mental Health and Addiction Recovery Services Board has a contract with Community Behavioral Health to treat inmates with Vivitrol for substance abuse. He said these are court-ordered treatments only.

Dwyer said drug rehabilitation isn’t the prison’s biggest problem, however.

“Alcohol is one of the most acute withdrawals, we deal with a lot more heroin addiction and that’s problematic,” Dwyer said. “Alcohol can be worse when it comes to being doped compared to alcohol. When you have acute alcoholics, sometimes they are very dangerous when they go into withdrawal.

Rasmus said the difference is that with drug addiction the person will feel sick for a while but then recover. An alcoholic in withdrawal can convulse and die, so strict attention from medical personnel is essential, and sometimes this requires a hospital visit.

“It’s a longer and more expensive process and you usually need medical support staff to monitor these people,” Rasmus said previously. “Where people withdrawing from opiates, even though they feel bad and may vomit and things like that, they’re not at risk of having seizures or dying, because of the withdrawal process.”

Dwyer said they also have a forensic advice crisis team funded by the MHARS board “they deal with a lot of your extreme homicidal and suicidal mental health issues, they help us with that.” And they have a psychiatrist under contract to help them with their problems.

Pregnant inmates aren’t uncommon either — the prison pays for prenatal care and even childbirth, but Dwyer said women are usually furloughed before they reach their due date. If they’re still in jail, the county picks up the delivery bill.

The county has been able to get grants for some of the drugs it needs, and medical care is included in the fees it is paid for housing federal prisoners. Some people also have insurance.

The only other facility in the county that houses people is the Care Facility with 109 beds and a current daily count of about 28. Care Facility Administrator Evelyn McGee said nearly all bills for Medications at the healthcare facility are reimbursed by Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance.

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