Innovative Opioid Addiction Program for County Inmates Launches

Published on November 19, 2018

pills-e1542641393159.jpg The Arlington County Sheriff's Office (ACSO), in partnership with the County's Department of Human Services (DHS), has launched a new jail- and community-based program using the medication Vivitrol to address opioid addiction in our community.

The program will provide free injections to Arlington County Detention Facility inmates who suffer from opioid addiction and are scheduled for release into the community. To participate, inmates must volunteer for the program and meet other qualifications.

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Vivitrol works by blocking opioid receptors in the brain by inhibiting dopamine production. This renders no physical effects from opioid usage and helps reduce cravings. Each participating inmate will, prior to release, receive an injection which lasts approximately one month. The pharmaceutical company Alkermes Inc., is providing the injections free of charge.

Upon release, inmates will participate in the DHS Office Based Opioid Treatment Program for ongoing treatment and monitoring, including several psychosocial interventions. The DHS program recently received $70,000 in new funding from the Commonwealth of Virginia STR-OP (State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis) grant.

MORE: Learn about opioid risks, signs of opioid use, and how to get help

This latest partnership between the Sheriff's Office and DHS is designed to help people in their recovery from substance use, reduce deaths and reduce the cycle of incarceration.

For more information on Arlington's efforts to address the opioid epidemic, visit /Government/Programs/Health/Opioids-AARI.