The packaging of Vivitrol.

The Associated Press

PORTER COUNTY — Porter County officials announced Friday they are now one of the few counties statewide offering Vivitrol to inmates recovering from opioid addiction. 

The program has been in the works for the past year, but jail staff administered the facility's first dose Thursday to a 38-year-old jail inmate, according to a news release from the Porter County Sheriff's Department. 

Vivitrol is a once-a-month, non-addictive injection that has been shown to diminish cravings by blocking opioid molecules from attaching to receptors in the brain. 

The inmate who received the injection was ordered by the court to participate in the Vivitrol program while on pretrial supervision, the release stated. 

As part of the contract, the Vivitrol company covers the cost of the first shot, while the state-funded Recovery Works program pays for the next three shots.

People assigned to the program are court ordered to attend weekly therapy sessions and receive a shot every 28 to 30 days. 

“We do not believe that this Vivitrol Program is the panacea; however, it is another viable treatment option to combat the heroin epidemic that has plagued our county," said Porter County Sheriff David Reynolds. 

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Lauren covers breaking news, crime and courts for The Times. She previously worked at The Herald-News in Joliet covering government, public policy, and the region’s heroin epidemic. She holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting.