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New Initiative to Provide Telehealth Support for Justice-Involved Patients

Updated: Sep 30, 2020

Project will extend technology proven to engage patients, reduce relapse, and support individuals in recovery through innovative digital resources

North Bethesda, MD, July 23, 2020 - Today, the Addiction Policy Forum announced that it has received a grant from the Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE) to expand telehealth support to justice-involved substance use disorder (SUD) patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The criminal justice system is on the frontlines of the addiction crisis, with high rates of fatal drug overdoses and many patients who lack access to quality care. These stresses are being exacerbated by the current pandemic, which puts more strain on justice and health systems and limits access to treatment and recovery services. Justice-involved patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) are particularly at-risk because of these changes.

Through this partnership, Addiction Policy Forum and FORE will extend innovative digital SUD services to patients in drug courts and other criminal justice diversion programs, providing critical resources to a vulnerable population. This expansion focuses on the Connections App, which is a smartphone technology empirically demonstrated to support patients in recovery by reducing relapse and promoting prosocial engagement.

Addiction Policy Forum offers Connections in partnership with CHESS Health. This technology, studied in over ten clinical trials and more than 30 published articles, is the only available app with systems that predict and reduce relapse. More specifically, Connections has tools to connect with trained counselors and peers, check-in daily, find clinical support, track sobriety and treatment plans, and other patient-centered resources.

In its 12-month partnership with FORE, Addiction Policy Forum will identify drug courts and other criminal justice diversion programs and enroll select programs in the project. If you are a drug or diversion court interested in applying, please apply today? You may also contact Addiction Policy Forum’s Shawn Rogers at, or via his cell phone at (646) 417-4100.

“Individuals with a substance use disorder reentering the community from prison and jail or under justice supervision need more support during this pandemic.” said Jessica Hulsey, Founder of the Addiction Policy Forum “Between the added stressors, economic downturn and disruptions in treatment support, many are at risk for relapse and overdose. Our partnership with the Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE will help bring research-backed services to individuals in need.”

“Recovery support services—which help save lives— have been greatly disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for those involved in criminal justice programs”, said Karen A. Scott, M.D., M.P.H., President of the Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE). “We are pleased to partner with Addiction Policy Forum to expand access to evidence-based recovery services to individuals in criminal justice settings, such as drug courts and diversion programs.”


About Addiction Policy Forum

The Addiction Policy Forum was created to serve patients and families impacted by the disease of addiction. Founded in 2015, we are working in states and communities across the country to end stigma, help patients and families in crisis and translate the science around addiction. We are a nationwide nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating addiction as a major health problem.

About the Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts

FORE is a national, private, grantmaking foundation focused on inspiring and accelerating action to end the opioid crisis. It is committed to convening and supporting partners advancing patient-centered, innovative, evidence-based solutions to make the greatest impact on the crisis.


Shawn Rogers

M: (646) 417-4100


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