The news on opiate addiction is usually bleak at best. Hundreds of articles, including some of mine, discuss addiction and overdose death with no apparent “light at the end of the tunnel.” My current employer, Brown County Ohio, leads Ohio’s list of top counties per capita for unintentional overdose drug deaths! It’s hard to accept that this is the situation in a sparsely populated rural county in southern Ohio, but it’s a snapshot of the problem in Ohio and well beyond.
About 2 years ago, I was at a conference where I learned about a new drug called Vivitrol. It seemed promising that a once-monthly injection could render an addicted individual unable to achieve a high. Along with counseling and an addict’s willingness to receive a monthly injection for many months, Vivitrol could result in lasting sobriety. It sounded too good to be true. The only hurdles were that addicts must be willing to participate and must not use their drug for several days before administration of Vivitrol. In addition, the cost of the drug is $600 to $800 per injection. The Warren County Ohio jail has an ongoing project involving this drug, and the results have been sensational. [Read more…]