Finally We Have a Positive Answer
By Rachel Gillis
For years we have been so frustrated because we have parents and spouses come to us pleading with us to help them with a family member who is out of control as a result of drugs or alcohol. We have had no good options until now. Medication assisted treatment is offering an opportunity to this community for the first time. With funding contracted through the Florida Alcohol & Drug Abuse Association, Chautauqua Healthcare Services has funds to provide Vivitrol to individuals referred by the Office of State and Court Administrator, Department of Children and Families and community members who have opioids and alcohol dependency.
Vivitrol is a non-addictive antagonist used in the treatment of opioid and alcohol dependence. It does not mimic the effects of opioids, but blocks the opioid receptor sites so the other substances present in the individual’s system cannot bind to them. Vivitrol is administered as a long-lasting injection. The injection is administered monthly. However, the injection is only part of the treatment program. The injections are not designed to be lifelong. Clients are only expected to be injected up to six times. Medication assisted treatment addresses the whole person, including fostering patient readiness for treatment, identifying relapse triggers and respective preventive strategies, delivery of primary care, psychiatric care, and providing behavioral counseling to help the person abstain from substance use and minimize the physical harm caused by it. Building appropriate social supports is vital for the continued sobriety. Vivitrol gives an individual an opportunity to step back from the cravings long enough to secure the help to start the change in their lives.
This is the first time we will be able to have a positive response when a parent or spouse comes in concerned about a loved one. When they ask if we have any suggestions about what they can do about the one they love and their dependency, our answer is now yes.