Mobile Addiction Clinic Brings Vivitrol Treatment To Rural Pennsylvania

By Victoria Kim 09/02/16

With the mobile clinic coming to them, clients in rural Pennsylvania are finding it easier to follow up with their monthly Vivitrol injections.

Mobile Addiction Clinic Brings Vivitrol Treatment To Rural Pennsylvania

A private clinic in western Pennsylvania is taking recovery to the state’s most remote areas. 

The program began about a year ago when Amanda Cope, chief operating officer of a private clinic in Washington County called Positive Recovery Solutions, realized the need for a mobile clinic that could provide addiction treatment services to clients who live far away. 

Now, the PRS mobile clinic—a trailer hitched to a Ford pickup truck—makes stops throughout western Pennsylvania, traveling from county to county delivering Vivitrol, the monthly injection also known as naltrexone. 

Vivitrol is hailed as a sustainable solution for its long-acting formula—only one injection is administered per month—compared to the daily pill version that never caught on despite being around since the 1970s. Vivitrol works by blocking certain brain receptors, which prevents the user from feeling cravings or highs.

Now with the mobile clinic coming to them, clients are finding it easier to follow up with the monthly injection. The trailer has a private waiting area, examination room, and injection room. 

Cope, who celebrated 10 years of sobriety this year, is currently working on expanding the PRS mobile clinic to reach more people in more counties throughout Pennsylvania. As of last year, PRS already secured contracts with Blair, Indiana, Clarion and Armstrong counties to offer its services to unfunded patients. By the year’s end, PRS is hoping to add 18 locations on the mobile clinic’s route, which could eventually include prisons.

The need for services throughout Pennsylvania is great. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, 45 out of 100,000 people died of a drug overdose in 2015 in Pennsylvania’s most populous county, Philadelphia County. In Armstrong County, where PRS travels to, that number is 43 out of 100,000.

The fact that Armstrong County has a far lesser population than Philadelphia County (68,000 compared with 1.5 million) but a similar overdose death rate, is telling of the extent of the drug abuse problem there. The same is true for nearby counties like Indiana County (41 deaths per 100,000) and Allegheny County (34 deaths per 100,000).

According to the clinic’s website, PRS is currently working in eight western counties, and is planning to expand to the eastern region of the state in the future.

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr