Men and women climbing out of the dark hole of opiate addiction are turning to a new hope for recovery: A monthly injection that prevents them from getting high.
The shot, a medication called naltrexone — known by the brand name Vivitrol — blocks the brain’s opioid receptors, thwarting the euphoric effects of heroin and prescription painkillers. Patients can’t get high even if they try.
Unlike methadone or other opiate replacement therapies, the drug isn’t a narcotic. So it’s not addictive and has no street value.
Vivitrol is slowly catching on in Maine and nationally as another alternative in the fight against the epidemic of opiate addiction. But experts warn it’s no miracle cure.
Other top health stories this week:
Researchers aren’t sure why, but in the 23 states where medical marijuana has been legalized, deaths from opioid overdoses have decreased by almost 25 percent, according to a new analysis.
Jessica Begley, a mother of two, recently became Maine’s first certified infant and child sleep consultant. Soon after, she started The Baby Sleep Geek, a sleep consultation service.
From our bloggers
Diane Atwood, Catching Health
Chris Kuhn and Dave Langdon are radiologists who work together at Mercy Hospital, and they are both cancer survivors … at least so far, they are likely to add.
Jackie Conn, Sooner or Lighter
When I lost weight, I felt as though I gained IQ points. I thought it was an illusion. I didn’t really believe I was less smart when I was overweight.
Compiled by BDN Health Editor Jackie Farwell. (I’ll be on vacation for the next two weeks, so Vital Signs is taking a break too. Look for the next newsletter on Sept. 18.)