Walton County Jail pilot program aims to battle inmate Opioid addiction

Photo courtesy: MGN
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WALTON COUNTY, FL -- (WTVY) A drug designed to help those struggling with addiction is now vailable to inmates at the Walton County Jail.
Walton County Sheriff Michael Adkinson has launched a pilot program to offer treatment to those who want help.
11 people die every day in the state of Florida from Opioids. That's according to Walton County Sheriff's Officials.
"I think you'd be hard pressed to find any family in your viewing area, really in this country that has not been personally affected by addiction issues. This is very real to all of us, its not arbitrary or capricious. We know the impact these have on families. Whether that is your brother, son, wife, father, mother."
Now, thanks to a grant initiated by Florida Governor Rick Scott, the Walton County Sheriff's Office and Jail now have money to kick-start a new program that targets Opioid addiction.
"The opportunity to provide VIVITROL which basically inhibits the Opioid receptors gives these inmates an opportunity to succeed upon their release from the jail."
The program works in two parts. The first is through an injected medication called VIVITROL. The second is through counseling and treatment..
"The injection holds them and keeps the craving away, and our treatment teaches them what a trigger is, what makes them go there and we're able to hold that off until they get taught, until they know what's going on."
Although the people we talked to say this program isn't foolproof, Sheriff Adkinson says if this program can help one person who suffers from addiction, then it's worth it.
"Those who want to make a significant change in their life, this gives them that hope to do something different."
The pilot program will provide injections to qualified inmates for up to 6 months while they're in jail.

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