Vivitrol, an injectable medicine that helps people stay off opioids, is back at Oriana House, the Summit County corrections and rehabilitation agency.

Oriana House Inc. has received a $1.57 million grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration to provide Vivitrol, a relatively new medication used to treat addiction, to about 300 clients — roughly 100 clients per year over the three-year period of the grant.

Vivitrol, which is nonaddictive, has become popular in part because it doesn’t contain opioids — unlike other drugs commonly used to treat people with opioid addiction.

“The quality of it being a nonnarcotic medication is certainly one of the most positive things about it,”  Allyse Hawkins, clinical manager for Oriana House’s Summit County operations, said Tuesday.

The grant will pay for the Vivitrol — more expensive than other addiction treatment drugs — as well as costs related to collecting data.

Those receiving the Vivitrol — the brand name for injectable naltrexone — are in the addiction treatment units of Oriana House’s correction facilities — alternatives to prisons — near the Summit County Jail in South Akron.

Offenders are sentenced to the facilities for no more than 180 days. The men’s facility is at 264 E. Crosier St., and the women's is at 941 Sherman St.

This is not the first time Oriana House has received a grant paying for Vivitrol, which is given in a shot once a month.

An earlier yearlong grant ran out in 2016, and Oriana House moved to using naltrexone pills, which are taken once a day.

Hawkins said Vivitrol has fewer side effects than the naltrexone pills. Additionally, because Vivitrol is injected, it is not as likely to be misused.

One of the criticisms of Vivitrol is that it can only be used once a person has been off opioids for seven to 10 days.

Hawkins said Oriana House's clients using Vivitrol arrived at the corrections facilities after detoxing in jail or at a detox center.

 

Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or kbyard@thebeaconjournal.com.