Prisons Experiment With Pricey Shot That May Help Addicted Inmates Stay Off Opioids After Release
In other news on the nation's drug epidemic, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports on a network that flies Puerto Ricans who are addicted to heroin to Philadelphia and other cities to so-called recovery houses. But some say the system is a form of human trafficking. And the Drug Enforcement Administration puts a synthetic opioid, called U-47700, on the list of most restricted controlled substances.
The Associated Press:
Prisons Fight Opioids With $1,000 Injection: Does It Work?
U.S. prisons are experimenting with a high-priced monthly injection that could help addicted inmates stay off opioids after they are released, but skeptics question its effectiveness and say the manufacturer has aggressively marketed an unproven drug to corrections officials. A single shot of Vivitrol, given in the buttocks, lasts for four weeks and eliminates the need for the daily doses common with alternatives such as methadone. But each shot costs as much as $1,000, and because the drug has a limited track record, experts do not agree on how well it works. (Johnson, 11/14)
The Wall Street Journal:
DEA Listing Synthetic Opioid U-47700 As Threat To Public Health
The Drug Enforcement Administration placed a synthetic opioid called U-47700 on the most restrictive list of controlled substances, calling the drug a threat to public health and blaming it in part for scores of deaths around the U.S. The ban, which is scheduled to take effect Monday, is the latest action by the DEA to try to crack down on the growing peril of synthetic narcotics. (Campo-Flores, 11/11)
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Puerto Rico's Solution To Heroin Crisis: One-Way Tickets To Philly
Since the late 1990s, pastors, police, and mayors in Puerto Rico have been sending hundreds of heroin addicts, many of them HIV-positive, to Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, and other cities. The officials work with mainland ministers, some of whom travel from Philadelphia to the island to recruit addicts, offering drug treatment based on abstinence and prayer....Once in Philadelphia, the drug users, who are overwhelmingly young men, are funneled into so-called recovery houses where they complain that pastors belittle them in rants imbued with religious overtones. (Lubrano, 11/13)