New medication helping incarcerated recovering addicts

PITT COUNTY, NC (WITN) The Pitt County Detention Center is one of many giving new medication to inmates recovering from opioid use.

This is a new option that started just this past November. Pitt County Sheriff Paula Dance said it's meant to fully rehabilitate inmates struggling with addiction. "We can capitalize and maximize the time that we have with them in giving them the tools to recovery," she said.

One recovering addict, Elton Pritchett III, said it was drugs that landed him in the detention center in the first place. "During the day, night, noon, morning, lunch time, whatever you know. Just being intoxicated leading me to making some bad decisions," he said.

Pritchett is one of three inmates receiving medication inside the center as part of the SHARP Program - The Sheriff's Heroin Addiction Recovering Program that addresses the struggle of addiction in and after jail.

He said the inclusion of the new medicine has helped him battle withdrawal and ultimately become normal again. "It's pretty much what you could say a life-saving change because being a part of the SHARP program has definitely saved my life and it's helped me make better decisions...I just thank God every day there was a resource available in a facility like this for people like me to receive help," he said.​