Drug treatment courts are an increasingly important tool in reducing the census of those incarcerated for non-violent drug offenses; medication assisted treatment (MAT) is proven to be an effective treatment for opioid addiction. However, little is known about the availability of and barriers to MAT provision for opioid-addicted people under drug court jurisdiction. Using an online survey, we assessed availability, barriers, and need for MAT (especially agonist medication) for opioid addiction in drug courts. Ninety-eight percent reported opioid-addicted participants, and 47% offered agonist medication (56% for all MAT including naltrexone). Barriers included cost and court policy. Responses revealed significant uncertainty, especially among non-MAT providing courts. Political, judicial and administrative opposition appear to affect MAT's inconsistent use and availability in drug court settings. These data suggest that a substantial, targeted educational initiative is needed to increase awareness of the treatment and criminal justice benefits of MAT in the drug courts.
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