Heroin abuse has been one of the national crisis today, especially with the significant increase of death cases compared to earlier years. Reviewing the statistics of The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) back in 2010, it has tripled today with a whopping 10,574 cases. As per the books of the Florida Medical Examiners Association in 2014, Heroin as the cause of death actually ranked fourth on the list nationwide. This is indeed a depressing truth and it is terrifying to think of our children’s future if this dilemma continues to happen. This common thought is not new with the Florida lawmakers and they just know that they have to act on it now.
Duval County Jailhouse is located in the Pre-Trial Detention Facility in Jacksonville, Florida, which is located in the downtown Jacksonville behind the Police Memorial Building. One of its missions aside from supporting the criminal justice system is to provide custody and treatment of the inmates to help them be better, productive citizens of the community.
With the alarming increase of heroin-related cases of the inmates housed at the Duval County Jail, the lawmakers launched in March the treatment program for those affected. The program aims to provide eligible inmates the medical assistance and counseling to help them get out of the hurdles of addiction. The Florida state has begun funding this program since 2014, shelling out $3M and added another $5M this year.
Vivitrol is a medication that is administered through injection to the patients with alcoholic and narcotic dependency. Its effect is to block the neurological impact of opiate to individuals and help their body control the need to take heroin. Vivitrol is known to be an extremely expensive antidote to opiate addiction, with a price tag of about $1000 monthly shot, but is sponsored and provided to eligible inmates of The Duval County Jailhouse by the state. The Jacksonville officers have strong belief that administering this medicine could do phenomenal change in the community as evidenced the success of implementation in other states.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office provides the implementation of this program to the locked up inmates of The Duval County Jailhouse, in cooperation with Region River Human Services, a non-profit, charitable organization that is committed to community enhancement programs like substance abuse. The program last for about four months of treatment within The Duval County Jailhouse facility, and a year of monitoring after they have gone out of the bars.
Many concerned personalities have attested in witnessing how drug dependent patients have improved after undergoing the treatment. The majority of them had a sense of direction in life and find ways to be productive to the community. After the battle with their drug dependency may have become their old selves again, bringing happiness and peace of mind to their family members. That is why the legislature has so much hope in this program, despite its huge funding requirements, as this is the best time to fix this issue, as it is simply not fun to look at the state of the kids at streets today.