In the wake of an increasing number of people being incarcerated for opioid addiction, Santa Rosa County Jail has initiated a program to give free Vivitrol treatment to the inmates at the time of their release. Grant-funded through the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse, the program aims at helping the inmates kick their addiction and lead a sober life once they leave the prison.
The risk of overdose and drug-related death usually increases once an individual addicted to substances is released from prison. It is primarily because individuals using opioids experience a decrease in tolerance level when out of the captivity. Hence, while it is essential to offer a recovery treatment during their imprisonment, it is also important to provide them with equivalent facilities after their release so that they continue being sober.
As part of the program, the jail would be identifying appropriate inmates through a screening test for a month before their release. These inmates can either volunteer for participation or can be referred by the counselors and nurses who are in regular contact with them. Once the inmates pass the screening test, they would be given their first shot of Vivitrol a few days before they finish their sentence. After their release, the individuals would have to visit the Gulf Coast Addiction Medicine’s Pensacola site to get the injection every month.
Effect of Vivitrol on opioid addiction
Vivitrol is prescribed to prevent the feeling of pleasure or high by blocking the receptors in the brain where opioids attach. As a result, a user undergoing the treatment does not experience any high or pleasure after consuming an opioid, which further discourages him/her to take more drugs. The treatment also reduces the risk of a relapse by curbing the urges and cravings. However, it necessarily requires the user to stay off opioids or any other drug at least 10 days before starting the dose.
Other methods to curb opioid addiction
Opioid substitution therapy (OST) is another effective treatment method that can help authorities curb the rate of opioid addiction among inmates. OST is an evidence-based treatment that involves prescribing medicines like methadone or buprenorphine in place of the abused opioid. The medicines are then administered orally in a supervised clinical setting to avoid their abuse.
The method has also been effective in reducing the risk of HIV transmission, death from overdose, criminal activity, and financial stress on the user. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the effectiveness of this therapy is “recognized in developed countries, where the provision of opioid substitutes to opiate-dependent people is a fundamental component of the response to the dual public health problems of injecting drug use and HIV transmission.”
Seeking treatment for opioid addiction
The U.S. has been fighting an aggressive battle against the opioid crisis for several years. Despite the measures taken to curb its rate of prevalence, the epidemic only seems to worsen day by day. As a result, the opioid crisis has been declared a public health emergency. Also, more and more people are being arrested due to opioid-related offenses. According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA), nearly 1.5 million prisoners in the country meet the medical criteria for substance abuse or addiction.
Fortunately, opioid addiction can be treated with the help of proper medical intervention. However, timely treatment and diagnosis is of utmost importance. If you or your loved one is dependent on opioids, contact the California Drug Addiction Helpline to get in touch with one of the best drug rehab centers in California. You can call at our 24/7 helpline number (855) 980-1946 or chat online with our counselor to gather more information about the best residential drug treatment in California.