PUEBLO, Colo. - The Pueblo County Jail is seeing early success in a new pilot program they rolled out at the beginning of the year.
In January, the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office partnered with Gateway for Success to start the Vivitrol Program.
Vivitrol is a prescription drug that blocks cravings for alcohol and opiates. The program allows inmates with opiate addiction to voluntarily enroll in the medicated-assisted treatment program.
When participants are released form jail they can get the Vivitrol to aid in their continued sobriety. To be eligible for the program, participants must be incarcerated for at least six weeks.
The program gives participants intensive therapy while they are behind bars. On the day of their release from jail, participants are given the first dose of Vivitrol, free of cost at the jail. Additional injections are covered by Medicaid.
There are currently nine participants who enrolled in the first round of the program that started in January who are now out of jail, and continue to stay sober.
Two other participants who started in the program were dropped because they did not adhere to the follow up protocols.
Since the first of this year, there have been 84 requests for individuals to be admitted to the program.
There are currently 13 other participants in the program in jail that are expected to receive the Vivitrol when they are released.
Jail officials say with the well-known opiod epidemic in the county, this is a way to break the cycle for repeat offenders.
They also added though, that the participants have to go through an intensive process and prove they want to get better.