COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Beginning October 1, 2017, Franklin County Jail inmates battling addiction will be offered Vivitrol when they’re released in an effort to help them overcome a reliance on drugs and lead a life without addiction.
The drug comes to Franklin County thanks to federal funding created to battle the opioid crisis in Ohio.
“Individuals who have an opiate use disorder, when they detox in jail and then they’re released back into the community without assistance, they run a high risk of relapsing and potentially overdosing,” says Jennifer Martinez of the Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County (ADAMH). “It does take the brain time to heal and go back to functioning in a more normal kind of way.”
Vivitrol, which is used to reduce opioid cravings and block receptors from receiving the high induced by the drug, will cost nearly $770 per injection. ADAMH says they received funding for 520 injections.
Columbus City Council President Zach Klein says the long-term costs could be greater, citing the police and fire department resources being used to handle opioid-related incidents. Klein went on to say this makes the issue one that is the responsibility of the entire community.
“Some relationship to crime is evidence by this,” Klein says. “If you’re high, if you’re broke and looking for drugs, what’re you going to do? You may break in to a house. You may break in to a car.”
Current funding will allow the county to use Vivitrol through the end of 2018.