LISTEN: Alaskans struggling with alcohol misuse could benefit from this medication, but it’s not widely used

Two vials on a counter top
One dose of Vivitrol, an injectable form of naltrexone, is effective for about a month in blocking the effects of opioids. Photographed on April 5, 2017. (Marc Lester/Alaska Dispatch News)

What if you could fight one drug with another?

Experts on substance misuse say you can. For some Anchorage residents struggling with alcohol addiction in conjunction with homelessness, one treatment option is a drug called Vivitrol.

Vivitrol alleviates alcohol cravings, helping patients work toward stability in their lives. But it’s not widely used, though many experts say it should be.

RELATED: Injectable medication shows promise for Anchorage’s homeless alcoholics

Veteran Alaska journalist Paula Dobbyn wrote about Vivitrol treatment for the Anchorage Daily News and Alaska Public Media, in collaboration with the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. She spoke about her reporting with Alaska News Nightly host Casey Grove.


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Casey Grove is the host of Alaska News Nightly and a general assignment reporter at Alaska Public Media with an emphasis on crime and courts. Reach him at

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