When released from incarceration, people may face a new obstacle: re-entering a significantly changed society. Beyond the stigma of incarceration, they may have additional challenges like substance use and mental illness. These chronic illnesses often go untreated during and after imprisonment, which leads to relapse, worsening symptoms, recidivism, and death. In fact, in the two weeks following incarceration, people are 40 times more likely to die from an opioid overdose than the general public.[1]

Programs like those from Youturn Health that offer support from a certified peer coach with the same lived experience (i.e., has been previously incarcerated) can make a profound difference during re-entry. Peer coaches help connect former inmates to resources, navigate the legal system, adhere to parole requirements, and provide support as they re-acclimate.

In six months supporting the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and other re-entry programs, 62% of people referred to Youturn Health became active participants. Of the active participants:

  • 94% adhered to the medication protocol
  • 94% adhered to treatment
  • 62% were employed
  • 6% were terminated for a failed drug screening, disciplinary action, and/or non-compliance with guidelines.

Active participants also rated Youturn Health’s peer coaching program with a satisfaction score of 4.8 out of 5.

In another program, only 1.7% of former inmates who participated in Youturn Health’s peer coaching program were reincarcerated, far below the standard 50% reoffend rate.1

In addition to peer coaching, Youturn Health’s program includes access to an online video library for education on stress, substance use, mental health, and suicidal ideation. And because increasing family support often leads to higher engagement in recovery, family members of former inmates also have access to Youturn Health’s peer coaching and online education to help develop coping skills and learn boundary setting and stress management.

It’s critical to provide programs that can help public and private facilities address substance use and mental health during incarceration and re-entry, and programs like those offered by Youturn Health are proven to help reduce relapse, overdose, and recidivism.

About Youturn Health

Youturn Health is a virtual support program to help individuals and families struggling with stress, substance misuse, suicidal ideation, and grief utilizing evidence-based strategies. Core components of the program include an online learning library, peer coaching, and care management where participants can quickly get support from trained healthcare professionals. Learn more at www.youturnhealth.com.

[1] https://bhbusiness.com/2023/02/03/why-providers-are-teaming-up-with-corrections-departments-to-better-treat-sud/