June 7, 2018 News Release, ACLU of Washington
The ACLU of Washington has filed a class-action civil rights lawsuit against Whatcom County and the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office for denying people with opioid use disorder (OUD) in the County Jail medications necessary to treat their addiction. The lawsuit challenges the Whatcom County Jail’s policy of refusing to provide people access to “Medication-Assisted Treatment” (MAT), including buprenorphine (Suboxone and Subutex) and methadone, even though it provides other clinically appropriate medications to inmates. This policy is harmful, unwise, and illegal. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) forbids discrimination against people with OUD, who are just as entitled to medication as those suffering from any other ailment requiring medical treatment.