Massachusetts jail offers $1,000-a-shot drug to fight addiction, recidivism

Wed Sep 3, 2014 5:33pm EDT
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By Laila Kearney

BARNSTABLE, Mass. (Reuters) - When William Luz's father died behind bars last month at 62 of liver failure and other illnesses tied to a lifetime of illegal drug use, his son, a former addict himself, could have dulled the pain with heroin.

But Luz, who had been released from jail a few weeks before his father died, stayed clean. For that, he credits a pioneering addiction treatment program at the Barnstable County (Massachusetts) Correctional Facility.

"Honestly, it (the program) saved my life," said Luz, 44, on a break from his job as a cook at a bustling seafood restaurant in Sandwich, Massachusetts, not far from where he grew up.

Luz, who served two years for a burglary he committed with his father, received an injection of the drug naltrexone before he left Barnstable. The 400-inmate jail offers it to people addicted to opioids from Vicodin to heroin.   Continued...

Gail Dufault, the Transitional Healthcare Coordinator at the Barnstable County House of Corrections, checks that a dose of Vivitrol is mixed properly before administering the drug to inmate Kenneth Saglibene at the prison in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts September 2, 2014.   REUTERS/Brian Snyder