The State of Michigan is expanding a program to provide  medication to people who will soon be released from prison to help them fight the urge to go back to opioid use. The Michigan Department of Corrections reports more than 20% of its inmates have an opioid-use disorder. Department studies show inmates returning home after incarceration are at acute risk of overdose and death from opioids — between 40 and 120 times more likely to die of an opioid overdose.

The program offering inmates access to Vivitrol before their release appears to be helping them stay away from opioids following release so it's being expanded. Physicians say the drug helps to quiet the mind which is a big problem faces by former addicts.  When combined with peer support and behavioral therapy, a large percentage of former inmates who were once addicted to opiods have a greater level of success staying away from the drugs.

A recent report on opioid use in Calhoun County labels opioids as an ongoing and severe threat to public safety and welfare.

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