To fight rampant misuse of prescription painkillers and heroin, the federal government has approved spending more than $23 million to fund treatment projects that include giving monthly injections of Vivitrol to prison inmates.
Vivitrol targets receptors in the brain's reward system, blocking the high and gradually extinguishing the urge to use heroin or other opioids. In some of the programs, prisoners get an injection before release, then follow-up shots from a clinic.
Here's a look at the programs, which each cost $2.8 million to $3 million over three years:
— Vermont is focusing medication-assisted treatment services on three special populations, including offenders on parole or probation.
— Wisconsin is targeting four groups, including prisoners who are within four months of release.
— Wyoming is offering services to inmates as they leave prison.
— Rhode Island is focusing on identifying, counseling and providing services to inmates with histories of prescription drug or heroin addiction before they were incarcerated.
— Illinois intends to offer Vivitrol injections to offenders who are released from Sheridan Correctional Center southwest of Chicago.
— North Carolina proposes to serve inmates being released from prison to post-release supervision and to those who are on probation and live in selected communities.
— In Colorado, at least one provider, Arapahoe House, plans to provide Vivitrol to clients involved in the criminal-justice system.
— Arizona plans to offer medication-assisted treatment that aims to create a bridge between incarceration and outpatient treatment.
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, FY2015 and FY2016 grants.