American Society for Addiction Medicine –
April 14, 2018 – SAN DIEGO – Support for drugs like Suboxone, Vivitrol and methadone was one of the rallying cries at the annual American Society for Addiction Medicine conference this week in California. Broadly known as medication-assisted treatments, the drugs are sometimes-controversial tools for battling the growing opioid epidemic. Though they work in different ways, all three can be taken long-term to reduce the chance of relapse into drug use. “It’s not a matter of ideology,” said ASAM president Dr. Kelly Clark. “It’s a matter of the facts show a person’s risk of dying is higher when they don’t take medication.” Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, assistant secretary of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, touted the use of addiction-fighting medications during a Friday opening plenary in front of some 2,000 doctors and other event attendees … Late last year, Harris County launched what officials touted as the first jail Vivitrol program in the state. “We’re trying to be more innovative as an agency,” Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said in November. “Incarceration only is not an effective solution.” Vivitrol, also known as naltrexone, is a non-addictive, non-narcotic monthly shot designed to reduce cravings and block users from getting high. Suboxone (also known as buprenorphine) and methadone are also intended to fight addiction, and they work by latching onto the body’s opioid receptors and prevent the heroin from attaching.