March 22, 2023

Walden, Detention Center Partner for Vivitrol


Walden, a behavioral health organization that has been helping St. Mary’s County residents for more than 40 years, is now working with the St. Mary’s County Detention Center to institute Vivitrol as an option for people who are addicted to opiates.

Vivitrol is a prescription drug that helps prevent relapse to opioid dependence. Patients must have stopped taking opioids before they are treated with Vivitrol, and it must be used with other alcohol or drug recovery programs.

Having the monthly injection available to those suffering from opioid addiction is a step in helping to quell the epidemic of heroin addiction and overdose that has stricken Southern Maryland. St. Mary’s County Detention Center inmates who receive treatment for drug addiction have a chance to start Vivitrol while they are away from street drugs. Walden and the Detention Center have been partners for years, and the Vivitrol program is another step in helping inmates with addictions.

Vivitrol works by dulling the brain’s receptors. Drug cravings are erased, plus the patients do not get the feeling of being high if they do relapse, although the drug company’s website says there is a chance of overdose if patients use illegal drugs while Vivitrol is in their system. Also, it’s not a controlled substance, so it has no street value.

According to, heroin and opioid abuse have been on the rise.

“In 2013, heroin-related overdose deaths (464) outnumbered homicides (387), a 95% increase in heroin-related overdose deaths since 2010,” the site states. “In addition, preliminary findings for 2014 show overall heroin-related overdose deaths have continued to rise and will outpace those in 2013 by approximately 20 percent. There is growing evidence that many new heroin addictions stem from the abuse of prescription painkillers. Once addicted to these opioids, individuals may switch to increasingly cheap and ‘available’ heroin.” The state has instituted a task force to help this problem.

For more information about Walden Behavioral Health, visit their Leader member page.

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