Former Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey Congratulates FDA and CRC for Adopting Science-Based New Approach to Reduce National Drug Treatment Gap

Posted at October 12, 2010 | Categories : 2011,Press Release | 0 Comment

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Former Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey Congratulates FDA and CRC for Adopting Science-Based New Approach to Reduce National Drug Treatment Gap; CRC Health Group to Include Vivitrol among Treatment Options for Opioid Addicts

Company says it has been using Vivitrol to treat alcoholism for years with extremely positive results

(Cupertino, CA) – “The FDA’s just approved monthly drug treatment with Vivitrol could be a game changer,” said the country’s largest substance abuse treatment provider, CRC Health Group, Recovery Division President Jerry Rhodes, whose company has 140 facilities across the country. Rhodes said the new treatment regimen “will provide addicts seeking help one decision a month instead of 30, and a new way to reduce or eliminate relapse. We are pleased to play a part in rolling out this potentially life-saving treatment.”

Former U.S. Drug Czar, General Barry McCaffrey, now on CRC’s Board, congratulated the FDA and CRC “for adopting a science-based new approach to reduce the national drug treatment gap. Addicts who in the past have been reluctant to seek treatment will be far more likely with a once-a-month opportunity to stop their craving. This is another important new tool in treatment.”

Rhodes and McCaffrey offered “thanks and congratulations” to Alkermes Inc. for developing and providing the medication approved today by the FDA and to be used by CRC facilities.

Rhodes stated that CRC has been utilizing Vivitrol to treat alcoholism “for years with extremely positive results” and is now in the process of developing the protocols and formulations for therapy for opiate patients. He stated that “every patient is an individual case. Vivitrol will be among the treatment options doctors will now have available, in addition to already existing Methadone and Suboxone (buprenorphine). In all cases, counseling and monitoring are a crucial part of treatment.”

McCaffrey added, “The abuse of opioids like prescription pain medications and heroin is on the rise. Prescription drug abuse has tripled in the past decade – it’s the new heroin. Nearly 16 million Americans ages 12 and older misused or abused prescription drugs or heroin in 2008 according to SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health.”

“We are very optimistic about what this recent FDA approval means for the millions of Americans who are dependent on prescription drugs or heroin,” said Rhodes. “Our experience with Vivitrol for alcoholic patients has been extremely positive and we have every reason to believe it will be just as helpful for those addicted to opioids.”

The once-monthly, extended-release Vivitrol was approved by the FDA as an injectable medication for the treatment of alcohol dependence in April 2006. CRC Health Group has been using Vivitrol in six of its residential treatment programs. The proprietary drug delivery technology in Vivitrol enables the medication to be gradually released into the body at a controlled rate over a one-month time period. In clinical trials, Vivitrol has been proven to produce substantial, rapid and sustained results for abstinence and ongoing recovery from alcoholism.

Now, with the recent FDA approval, this same, once-a-month injection will be used to help treat opioid abusers.

Said Rhodes, “Now, many will have the option of receiving a once-a-month injection of Vivitrol. Vivitrol can be used for inpatient treatment to help opioid-addicted individuals stay drug free as they make the transition from a highly structured treatment setting. We expect to see a drop in relapse rates in the months following discharge – a crucial period for relapse.”

The Vivitrol injection works by providing continuous levels of its active ingredient naltrexone, blocking activity in the brain’s limbic (reward) system which is thought to play a central role in drug and alcohol dependence. Put simply, Naltrexone helps patients overcome urges to abuse opioids by blocking the drugs’ euphoric effects.

CRC Health Group will utilize the injectable Vivitrol for opioid addicts in facilities across the country. The company has established a wrap-around treatment “package” with their medical and counseling teams to ensure the likelihood of treatment success.

CRC Health Group is the most comprehensive network of specialized behavioral care services in the nation. It offers the largest array of personalized treatment options, allowing individuals, families, and professionals to choose the most appropriate treatment setting for their behavioral, addiction, eating disorder, weight management and therapeutic education needs. CRC is committed to making its services widely and easily available while maintaining a passion for delivering advanced treatment. Since 1995, CRC programs have helped individuals and families reclaim and enrich their lives. For more information, visit

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