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Initiated in the 1980s and until recently a small slice of the criminal justice system, drug courts now number more than 3,000, a sprawling network that touches half the counties in the country.Tens of thousands of drug offenders are diverted to them each year, giving local judges wide discretion to impose alternatives to jail and prison time.Administered by a shot in the buttocks, it blocked the patient from getting high for 28 days.Just as a scourge of opiate addiction was building in the U. heartland, Alkermes suddenly had a product it could pitch as a once-a-month solution.Leading the way in sales is Ohio, which has been especially devastated by the epidemic — more than 2,500 deaths in 2015, nearly 10 percent of all fatal opioid overdoses nationwide — and also happens be the site of the Alkermes factory that produces Vivitrol.Last year the state’s Medicaid program alone paid for more than 30,000 doses of Vivitrol at a cost of more than million, a nine-fold growth over just two years, according to The Cleveland Plain-Dealer.The trick was coming up with a version that didn’t need to be taken daily.

All told, more than 450 public initiatives in 39 states are making use of Vivitrol.

It won approval from the Food and Drug Administration, named the drug Vivitrol, priced it at

All told, more than 450 public initiatives in 39 states are making use of Vivitrol.

It won approval from the Food and Drug Administration, named the drug Vivitrol, priced it at $1,000 per shot and prepared to rake in the profits.

Instead of being hailed as a breakthrough, though, Vivitrol quickly ran into resistance.

While the medicine also showed promise in suppressing opiate addiction, it was unlikely to be widely used for that purpose.

Opiate addicts would have to first go through excruciating withdrawal and then have the commitment to pop a pill every day that didn’t make them feel any better.

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All told, more than 450 public initiatives in 39 states are making use of Vivitrol.It won approval from the Food and Drug Administration, named the drug Vivitrol, priced it at $1,000 per shot and prepared to rake in the profits.Instead of being hailed as a breakthrough, though, Vivitrol quickly ran into resistance.While the medicine also showed promise in suppressing opiate addiction, it was unlikely to be widely used for that purpose.Opiate addicts would have to first go through excruciating withdrawal and then have the commitment to pop a pill every day that didn’t make them feel any better.

,000 per shot and prepared to rake in the profits.

Instead of being hailed as a breakthrough, though, Vivitrol quickly ran into resistance.

While the medicine also showed promise in suppressing opiate addiction, it was unlikely to be widely used for that purpose.

Opiate addicts would have to first go through excruciating withdrawal and then have the commitment to pop a pill every day that didn’t make them feel any better.

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