'I got on the shots and I haven't had a craving since': Injections helping addicts in Erie County

Posted at 4:22 PM, Jul 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-26 17:15:43-04

"No cravings. None at all," Amanda Keeton says after her 29th Vivitrol shot.

Keeton gets the dose a Vivitrol via a monthly injection at the Erie County Health Department.

It's a medication that stops heroin's affects, blocking the opioid receptors in the brain and eliminating the desire to use it.

"Once I got better and got on the shot? I felt so much better. No cravings..I think if you're ready to quit, ready to be clean, this is the answer," she said.

In some Northeast Ohio counties, Vivitrol is a treatment option through drug court.

For Keeton, getting clean was a decision she made all on her own.

"I wasn't the mother I am supposed to be. I was over it. Sick of being sick," she explained.

Clean for about two years now, no relapse, she attributes a lot of that to Vivitrol.

"I'm almost ready to be done."

For now, Keeton is one of about 50 people coming to the Erie County Health Department for injections every month.

"I wish we didn't have to, but if there's something we can do to kind of stem the tide," nurse Pamela Roggeman said.

"It's a miracle drug. It really is. A miracle," Keeton said.

A miracle that doesn't come cheap.

One shot runs about $1,000.

According to Health Department officials, most patients use government-assisted Medicaid or personal insurance, but say there's no state or county help when it comes to Vivitrol.

Keeton says it's well worth it.

"With this Vivitrol? I live a whole other life," she said.