Talks have begun to introduce Vivitrol, a breakthrough medication to help treat opiate and alcohol addiction, into the county’s jails.
No longer a problem that can be overlooked and ignored, opiate addiction is an epidemic that is overwhelming the state of Ohio and creating a skyrocketing death toll due to prescription drug and heroin overdoses. As more and more people become addicted every day, it is becoming clear that something new and different needs to be done in order to tackle the problem. Here in Ottawa County, where the majority of criminal defendants test positive for some illegal substance when they are arraigned, this issue is particularly pressing and is having devastating effects on the community.
Ottawa County Common Pleas Judge Bruce Winters is frustrated by this devastation and looking for a solution. A new non-narcotic drug, Vivitrol, may be an answer to addiction that can benefit the county. Vivitrol is a monthly injection that blocks opiate receptors in the brain and prevents a person from getting high. Unlike other addiction medications on the market, such as Suboxone, it is not a substitute for an opiate, it is non-addictive, and does not create any sort of physiological or psychological dependence. It merely prevents a person from feeling the euphoria that is associated with opiate and alcohol use, making using these drugs pointless.