Drug used to fight addiction gains popularity on LI

Long Islanders learned more about an FDA-approved drug that can be used to fight addiction during a meeting in Hempstead Tuesday.



Doctors say Vivitrol has proved to be an invaluable tool in treating opioid addicts.



Dr. Thomas Jan says 30-40 of his patients are on Vivitrol now. He says the injection, which is given every 28 days, stops the brain from getting high.



"It dramatically decreases cravings for opioids," said Jan.



Steven Chassman, a substance abuse counselor at the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, says the fact that only a doctor can prescribe or administer Vivitrol is what sets it apart from other medications.



Dr. Jan says he will not give the drug to anybody who "is not invested in recovery." He and Chassman say Vivitrol is one important piece in a treatment plan, which must also include counseling.


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