Frederick News-Post: Vivitrol Programs Worth a Shot

An editorial in The Frederick News- Post reports on a one-year grant awarded to the county detention center to administer a Vivitrol program. Vivitrol is a medication that blocks the effects of heroin. The editorial praises the grant and advocates for Vivitrol to have a place in the box of tools to address heroin use and the revolving door of drug-use related incarceration:

Frederick County received a $50,536 state grant in June to help offset the cost. The county is one of eight in Maryland to share a $500,000 grant administered through the state’s Medication Assisted Treatment program. The grant program was funded for just one year to test its effectiveness.

If it is successful, and we think it will be, a serious argument can be made to continue the program funding and expand it to other Maryland counties. That’s because in the long run this could be a government program that might actually end up saving taxpayers money.

Law enforcement officials say it could lead to sharp declines in recidivism rates, meaning former inmates will be just that — former inmates. And that will save the county thousands, potentially, in the costs of housing inmates. There’s also the price society pays when addicts resort to felony crimes against innocent people to fuel their drug addiction.

And while the Vivitrol injections last only a month, that’s time former inmates can take to establish stable lives and find a job. Overdose risks are highest in the first several weeks after a person is released from jail, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

For more information read the full editorial in The Frederick News- Post.