Addiction-Treating Drug To Be Tested In Town
Deciding to commit to treatment for drug or alcohol dependence is not an easy choice. So the Webb county's Drug Court is collecting data on a drug that can potentially help individuals that suffer from those issues. Evaluator for Drug Court Jesse Gerardo Hernandez, says,"we have a high rate of alcoholism and people using cocaine and they use them together. This is a perfect opportunity to work with a population that has never really been studied." The drug court program is using funds from a SAMHSA Grant to conduct a study that will test a drug called Vivitrol on Hispanics dependent on alcohol and opiate products. The individuals used in the study are from the Drug Court Program as part of a diversion to prison, where 66 percent of the clients are dependent on opiates and 67 percent on alcohol." What vivitrol does is helps the prevention of relapse. The drug closes the nuero pathways to the addiction, helping patients fight urges. Hernandez says,"if they use it for about a year their brain can rest up they can get a strong recovery and will be more successful spend less money in treatment less money in recovery rooms and a better chance of recovery." Past medications required the user to orally ingest the medicine. Vivitrol users take an injection every 4 weeks; preventing addicts from the daily choice of taking their medication. “So it really an important medication, it takes the daily dosing, the daily adherence, that daily decision making for the individual suffering from the addiction, it removes that decision for them," said Associate Director for the company Alkermes, Melanie Davis. Past medication like Oxycontin used to relieve pain to patients, could still be abused but this drug has no such dependent side effects. Davis says,"it's non addictive, non-narcotic so theres no physical dependence it's just another tool to help them to the road to recovery." Hernandez says a long road is ahead of him the outcome will be great; he says,"we want our clients to be clean and sober we want them to be health productive citizens here in our community that is without a doubt the most important thing."