Mass. sheriff's office intercepts $14,000 worth of drugs coming into jail

Sheriff Patrick McDermott said the diligence of his staff helped spot the contraband


By Joe Difazio
The Patriot Ledger
        
DEDHAM, Mass. — The Norfolk County Sheriff's Department stopped an estimated $14,000 worth of drugs from entering the county jail it oversees in Dedham.

In a statement, Sheriff Patrick McDermott said an inmate tried to smuggle 35 Suboxone strips into the jail.

Suboxone, brand name of the drug buprenorphine, is used to help treat opioid dependence but can also be used illicitly. The office said the drugs were intercepted Jan. 8.

"The introduction of illegal drugs into our facility threatens the well-being and recovery of the justice-involved individuals here doing the hard work of turning their lives around," McDermott said.

A 2021 study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment estimated the cost of a Suboxone strip ranges from $50 to nearly $100 in jail or prison, according to former inmates in Maryland and New York. The study said participants reported the street value of a strip outside a jail facility is about $7.

McDermott said the diligence of his staff helped spot the drugs.

The sheriff's office runs programs aimed at helping inmates deal with opioid use disorder, including counseling, medication-assisted treatment and a substance abuse treatment program.

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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