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Office of Will County Executive
Lawrence M. Walsh
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 8, 2018
For more information, contact:
Phone: 815-530-2372; Fax: 815-774-3671

Local health center offers medically-assisted treatment option for opioid addiction

Riverside Community Health Center has partnered with a global drug manufacturer to offer Vivitrol to patients with an opioid addiction. This medication has proven an effective method for long-term treatment of opioid addiction. Vivitrol is the manufacturer’s name for naltrexone a non-addictive, monthly treatment proven to prevent relapse in opioid dependent patients when used with counseling. Before starting Vivitrol, a patient must be opioid-free for a minimum of seven to 14 days to avoid sudden opioid withdrawal.

“Medical assisted treatment using Vivitrol is an effective strategy to reduce the number of deaths from heroin and fentanyl,” said Dr. Kathleen Burke, director of substance use initiatives for Will County. “Vivitrol has been found to take away the cravings for opioids and alcohol which is an important part of the recovery process. Vivitrol blocks opioid receptors in the brain for one month at a time. People with addiction cannot simply stop using drugs for a few days and be cured of their addiction. All patients need ongoing care.”

Burke learned of the lack of medical assisted treatment services in the Braidwood/Wilmington area which until recently had the highest per capita death rates in the country. She reached out to personnel from Riverside who participated in a heroin use prevention event hosted by the Wilmington Coalition for a Healthy Community. She connected Riverside with the local Vivitrol representative from Alkermes. Burke said she is pleased Riverside wanted to participate in this program.

“I applaud the providers at Riverside Community Health Center for recognizing the importance of offering this medication,” she said. This partnership will help many people struggling with this disease of addiction.”

According to Karie Prokop, physician assistant from Riverside Community Health Center, the medication is covered by private insurance, Medicaid and Medicare. A person seeking treatment must be free from opioids for one week to be eligible.

“Vivitrol blocks the receptors in the brain so a person will not feel the effects of an opioid drug,” Prokop said. “This is the biggest challenge in treatment so quelling these cravings will enable a person to have more success through counseling and other therapy programs.”

Prokop said this treatment is available to anyone. The first step is to call the clinic for an appointment.

“One of our providers will meet with the patient for a complete medical history. The more information we have, the more effective program we can design for the patient.”

To schedule an appointment, contact Riverside Community Health Center at (815) 476-5210.

 
Press Contacts

Anastasia Tuskey
Communications Director
Ph: 815-740-8376

Tammy Reiher
Public Information Officer
Ph: 815-774-7485

«February 2019»
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Will County Veterans Event

Will County Veterans Assistance Commission to host "planning for your family's needs -- now and in the future" at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, February 4, 2019 at the Will County Office Building, 302 N. Chicago Street, Joliet.
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Grundy County Sheriff to offer Safe Passage program

Last Thursday, Dr. Kathleen Burke, director of Substance Use Initiatives in the Office of Will County Executive Larry Walsh, met with officers from the Grundy County Sheriff’s Department and several other local municipalities in Grundy County to provide an overview of the Will County Safe Passage Network.
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Groundbreaking for new Health Department, TB clinic held

Will County Executive Larry Walsh said the groundbreaking for the new Health Department and Tuberculosis Clinic was another day “that has been a long time coming.”

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Will County offers residents spay/neuter discount for pets in February

Will County residents who have their pets spayed or neutered at participating veterinary offices in February can receive a $40 county-sponsored discount.

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Workforce Center, Village, Romeoville Chamber to host job fair

The Workforce Center of Will County, Village of Romeoville and the Romeoville Area Chamber of Commerce will host a job fair at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 6.

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Will County Office Building Closed on Feb. 12 in honor of Lincoln's Birthday

The Will County Office Building will be closed on Tuesday, February 12 in observance of Lincoln's birthday. Normal office hours will resume on Wednesday, February 13.
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