Drugs and prison overcrowding have been a burden on society for countless decades. Usually the result of taking drugs is what actually lands people in prison either by the drug itself or a result of behavior caused by the drug. That may however be changed.
Instead of drugs landing people in prison it just may prevent people from going to prison in the first place. Alkermes Pharmaceuticals has a new drug (Vivitrol) in its initial study conducted with current prisoners in prison. The drug is injected once a month and blocks pleasure receptors. Basically it has the potential to eliminate the pleasure received by doing drugs and therefore will prevent drug use and crime resulting from drug use.
I find the ideal of Vivitrol to be interesting however I can’t help but to contemplate the risk. Immediate questions are brought to mind. What are the long time effects? If Vivitrol, a blocker is administered for say a year or more will pleasure receptors eventually wear down? Another point to consider is the long term emotional damage. Will pleasure receptors be damaged or destroyed? If pleasure receptors are blocked then it stands to reason that these people are lacking all pleasure, which over time just may cause them to lose their desire and even become depressed.
One other point that I’d like to mention is that Vivitrol is a temporary fix. While Vivitrol is in a person system they lack the pleasurable effects of whichever drug they seek. This doesn’t necessarily remove the desire or deal with the underlying cause of their behavior. Therefore it stands to reason that when they stop they’ll still be drug addicted criminals looking to quench their needs.