New drug, Vivitrol, could be weapon against opioid relapse and recidivism

Trenton legislators are considering mandating the use of a drug that nullifies the effects of opioids for 30 days to reduce overdoses and hopefully encourage recovery.

But, can it work, and if so, at what cost?

State House representatives in Trenton think a newer drug called Vivitrol could be a game changer in the battle against opioids.

Vivitrol is a shot that nullifies opiate effects and also reduces the desire to use opiates for up to 30 days. It's apparently useful in combating alcoholism as well.

Assemblyman Herb Conaway of Burlington County is a medical doctor - he's written a bill to make Vivitrol available to people getting out of jail who struggle with addiction.

Assemblyman John Armato of Atlantic County is a co-sponsor of the bill. He says the real question is, what's the cost of not implementing it? One shot of Vivitrol costs $1,000.

"Well you have to think about what it costs to incarcerate someone, and that is way more expensive than that $1300. Plus, you get one individual back into society, one individual that can be with his family, raise his children and enjoy a supportive life. And I think that's most important of everything," Armato said.

Armato has also ushered a bill through the Assembly that would put warning labels on pharmaceutical opioids

FOX 29's Hank Flynn gives his take in the video above.