Understanding the Effect of Medication Assisted Treatment on Recidivism of Persons with Substance Use Disorder


  • Brett M. Hopf Indiana University School of Medicine; Dimas House of Indiana, Inc.; Hoosier Public Health Corps, Indianapolis, IN
  • Niki Messmore Indiana University School of Medicine; Hoosier Public Health Corps, Indianapolis, IN




The Dismas House of Indiana, Inc (Dismas House) is a nonprofit organization in St. Joseph County that provides transitional housing to men and women who have recently been released from incarceration. Dismas House offers a wide variety of programming, group therapy, and supports their residents in receiving Medication for Addiction Treatment (MAT). Dismas House currently allows for residents enrolled in MAT to be on Suboxone (Buprenorphine + Naloxone) and Vivitrol (Naltrexone). In the general population, substance use disorder is estimated to have a prevalence of approximately 10%. In stark contrast however, the prevalence of substance use disorder among those incarcerated in Indiana State Prisons is just over half at 53% and the prevalence of substance use disorder among those who return to prison is even greater at 75%. As such, a greater understanding of how effective MAT can be at reducing recidivism in those with substance use disorder leaving incarceration is critical in lowering the population of Indiana and federal prisons.

A literature review conducted via PubMed, JSTOR, and UpToDate on articles published on or after 2017 to research the effects of MAT on recidivism on persons with substance use disorder.

Persons who are arrested or who have been arrested that have an SUD have a major higher incidence of recidivism than people who have been released from prison who do not have an SUD. MAT lowers the recidivism of those with SUD by 20% on average.

Conclusion/Future Implications:
People with SUD who are incarcerated should be offered MAT while both in prison and once they are released in an effort to reduce recidivism in the state.