Thousands Leave Maryland Prisons With Risky Health Problems But No Coverage

(By Jay Hancock for Kaiser Health News)

Stacey McHoul left jail last summer with a history of heroin use and depression and only a few days of medicine to treat them. When the pills ran out she started thinking about hurting herself.

“Once the meds start coming out of my system, in the past, it’s always caused me to relapse,” she said. “I start self-medicating and trying to stop the crazy thoughts in my head.”

Jail officials gave her neither prescription refills nor a Medicaid card to pay for them, she said. Within days she was back on heroin — her preferred self-medication — and sleeping in abandoned homes around Baltimore’s run-down Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood.

Thousands of people leave incarceration every year without access to the coverage and care they’re entitled to, jeopardizing their own health and sometimes the public’s. Read article here…..

Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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