Athens County combating heroin with state’s first prosecutor Vivitrol program

ATHENS, Ohio (WCMH) —  Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn is sharing his success with a first-in-the-state program to combat heroin and opiate addiction with other prosecuting attorneys Thursday.

He spoke at the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys’ Association annual spring training.

Blackburn is the first prosecutor in Ohio and one of the first in the country to implement a prosecutor-based Vivitrol program to fight heroin addiction. Vivitrol can help prevent relapses.

Since the program was instituted the county has had a 33 percent reduction in probation violations; a $15,000 savings on the county’s jail bill, and 15 percent faster case resolution.

“The court can only deal with who’s in the defendant’s chair,” he said. “By being prosecutor-based, you’re able to help everybody. We go in a home, we deal with witnesses. Those witnesses are also opiate addicts.”

Blackburn says Vivitrol is not addictive unlike other commonly used medicated treatments.

“Vivotrol blocks the receptors in the brain so that an individual doesn’t crave heroin anymore and doesn’t can’t get high from heroin anymore,” he said.

According to the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office, the program has been more successful than court-based programs because it provides assistance for everyone in the home, not just the individual in the criminal justice system.

What others are clicking on: provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s