About 100 jails and prisons nationwide are providing departing inmates with Vivitrol, a drug that treats opioid addiction, to reduce rates of addiction and reincarceration, The Boston Globe reports.
Vivitrol blocks receptors in the brain where opioids and alcohol attach, preventing the feelings of pleasure that these substances produce.
It is long-acting, which helps newly released inmates avoid going right back to opioid use during their first days of freedom. Vivitrol, unlike methadone and buprenorphine, does not produce a high, and cannot be diverted to street use, the article notes.
A person must abstain from opioid use for seven to 10 days before starting Vivitrol, which is not a problem for prisoners who had to detox behind bars.