Some prisons in the United States are experimenting with Vivitrol, a once-monthly injection that helps individuals stay off opioids for up to a month. The injection effectively blocks receptors in the brain that respond to opioids, eliminating both the high and the urge to get high. Unlike methadone and buprenorphine, Vivitrol is not habit forming, eliminating the need for a maintenance medication like buprenorphine. This is reflective of a changing approach to addiction in this country, with a focus on treatment instead of punishment. However, the injections cost upwards of $1,000 apiece, and data on its long-term efficacy is limited.
Check out the AP’s video on the effects of Vivitrol on departing inmates below.
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