Levy to help residents cope with addiction, illness

Every week, counselors in Sandusky County see people whose lives have been shattered by their addiction to prescription painkillers.
Annie Zelm
Nov 5, 2011


Every week, counselors in Sandusky County see people whose lives have been shattered by their addiction to prescription painkillers.

When they can no longer afford those, many turn to heroin and other illegal drugs, said Nancy Cochran, director of the recovery services board of Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot counties.

A new program designed to treat opiate addiction is expected to help at least 100 people in the first few months, but it comes at a cost: The monthly injections alone cost about $1,000 per person. That doesn’t cover blood work and other related costs.

Cochran hopes voters will support a levy this November to help pay for that program and others that help people of all ages cope with some of the toughest times in their lives.

Voters have turned down the 0.8-mill levy each year since 2006.

Cochran said she believes many voters still don’t realize that it benefits only residents in Sandusky County — the other two counties the board serves already have separate levies in place.

Sandusky County desperately needs the funding, Cochran said, and not just to combat addiction.

The money also benefits programs such as Help Me Grow, which provides early intervention for young children and their families, and the health department’s Prevention Partnership, a program designed to help school-aged children steer clear of drugs and make good decisions.

It reaches schools and law enforcement agencies, who also use the money for education and counseling.

When a child dies of cancer, for instance, employees at Firelands Counseling and Recovery Services talk with the students trying to make sense of the loss of their classmate.

The recovery services board operates on a total budget of about $7.5 million from state and federal funds, but each of the three counties needs local funding to run its local programs and provide counseling services.

This year, the money used to treat Sandusky County residents had run out by about mid-April, so people who weren’t covered by Medicaid had to be put on a waiting list. If the levy fails again this year, Cochran said no one will be turned away, but people may have to wait longer to get the help they need.

“It may be 8-12 weeks before they get an appointment,” she said. “If someone has to wait 8-12 weeks, they may talk themselves out of even going. That’s a huge concern.”

WHAT: A five-year, 0.8-mill levy to fund mental health services for Sandusky County only. The levy is expected to generate about $940,000 per year.

AT STAKE: Programs that benefit children, families and the elderly in Sandusky County. Among them is a school program to combat bullying and a new program for people addicted to painkillers.

COST: About $2 per month for the owner of a $100,000 home — less than $25 per year.



a thousand dollar injection of what????

help please

is that a $1000 a month, if so thats as much if not more then alot of these people are spending i bet. Wow that doesn't seem to be much help if people with a problem still lose everything they have to get away from a problem. I hope they mean its a $1000.00 for the whole course if that is the case then it would be worth it to go and pay the thousand and get away from the pills that are devastating alot of families.


@ help please....that's 1000.00 a month and treatment is generally for a year, so looking at 12k per person, at least.

grannie G

a thousand dollars is for dr. murray and some propofol


If these people have insurance doesn't that pay for their meds? And if they don't, doesn't Medicaid take care of it? Doesn't illegal drugs cost more than legal ones? I guess I really don't understand.

grannie G



It's probably Vivitrol. Here's an article on it...



And from poking around the 'net it seems many insurance companies cover Vivitrol treatment. I found this for state-by-state medicaid financing (couldn't find something a bit newer....)


Here's a nice blurb courtesy of wiki (kinda sums up all the info I found..)

Opiate addiction

Naltrexone helps patients overcome urges to abuse opiates by blocking the drugs’ euphoric effects. While some patients do well with the oral formulation, there is a drawback in that it must be taken daily, and a patient whose craving becomes overwhelming can obtain opiate euphoria simply by skipping a dose before resuming abuse.

The FDA approved Vivitrol, the long-acting version of naltrexone, on October 12, 2010 for the prevention of relapse to opioid dependence, following opioid detoxification. “This drug approval represents a significant advancement in addiction treatment,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center Drug Evaluation and Research.[17]

Nora Volkow, M.D., Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), stated that: “As a depot formulation, dosed monthly, Vivitrol obviates the daily need for patients to motivate themselves to stick to a treatment regimen - a formidable task, especially in the face of multiple triggers of craving and relapse. This new option increases the pharmaceutical choices for treating opioid addiction, and may be seen as advantageous by those unwilling to consider agonist or partial agonist approaches to treatment. NIDA is continuing to support research on Vivitrol's effectiveness in this country, including a focus on criminal justice involved populations transitioning back into the community.”[18]

The phase 3 clinical study upon which the FDA granted approval for Vivitrol in treating opioid dependence had an enrollment of 250. Primary outcome measures were percent of weekly urine tests that were negative for opioids and the length of the study retention during the double-blind period. The study began in June 2008 and was completed in November 2009.

Alkermes presented positive results from the phase 3 clinical study of Vivitrol for the treatment of opioid dependence at the American Psychiatric Association 2010 Annual Meeting in May 2010. The study met its primary efficacy endpoint and data showed that patients treated once-monthly with Vivitrol demonstrated statistically significant higher rates of clean (opioid-free) urine screens, compared to patients treated with a placebo, as measured by the cumulative distribution of clean urine screens (p<0.0002).[19] The results of the study are expected to be published soon.

Another option for the treatment of opiate addiction is the naltrexone implant, which may be surgically inserted under the skin. The implant provides a sustained dose of naltrexone to the patient, thereby preventing the problems which may be associated with skipping doses. It must be replaced every several months. Naltrexone implants are made by at least three companies, though none have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration.[20]




The monthly injections alone cost about $1,000 per person. That doesn’t cover blood work and other related costs. Somebody is going to make a lot of money from taxpayer funds.

A small study in Russia found that Vivitrol was 50 percent more effective than a placebo in keeping opiate addicts off drugs for five months. Naltrexone has previously been used to treat alcoholism.

Doctors note that Vivitrol won’t be successful alone—it needs to be combined with other forms of treatment, including counseling.

Vivitrol (naltrexone) was 50 percent more effective than a placebo. I can read that 50% a number of ways. Naltrexone had previously used to treat alcoholism.

http://www.cannabismd.net/addiction/  A better alternative to treating drug addiction and alcoholism.