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Continuity of Care

Treatment continuity is integral to addressing behavioral health issues. Communities should take steps to ensure that mental health, substance abuse disorder, and physical health treatment is available to those who need it throughout their interaction with the justice and behavioral health systems.

Once detained or in custody, individuals must receive appropriate mental health, substance use disorder, and physical health services. One component of this is prescription continuity. Prescription continuity ensures that individuals can continue their treatment plans and avoid adverse outcomes from lapsed medication treatment. Medications may be necessary to maintain stability and/or competency. Prescription continuity also eases re-entry hurdles and disruption.

Intake officials should screen individuals and coordinate with local behavioral health authorities to identify and coordinate existing prescriptions and treatment plans upon entry into detention. Medication continuity should be a priority along with suspended rather than discontinued enrollment in Medicaid.