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"Unmasking the Controversy: Vivitrol, Opioid Overdose, and Alternative Treatment Paths"

Mr. Percy Menzies, M. Pharm, Response to the Article Above

Maia Szalavitz is once again showing her vendetta for naltrexone and the monthly injection sold under the brand name Vivitrol. It starts with the title of her opinion piece: Vivitrol, used to fight opioid misuse has a major overdose problem. She has taken the two studies cited in her piece and concluded that the only two drugs shown to reduce overdose deaths are buprenorphine and methadone. This is like Dr. Russell Portenoy reassuring the medical community on the safety of potent opioids that killed tens of thousands of people.

Maia fails to mention the limitations and risks of the widespread use of opioids as substitution treatment, especially when the country is flush with wave after wave of illegal opioids. She is well-aware that no chronic condition has ever been successfully treated with an addictive drug. No epidemic, infective or non-infective has ever been successfully treated with an addictive, abusable drug. The nation went through the nightmare of using opioids to treat ‘chronic’ pain. Now we must believe the likes of Maia that the only way to treat the ‘chronic’ pain caused by opioid addiction is by using methadone or buprenorphine.

She should have taken the time to explain the discovery of an amazing new class of medications called opioid antagonists. The discovery of naloxone should have been hailed as a penicillin moment and led to the development of dozens of medications in this class. The development of naltrexone should have received accolades but was killed by the promoters of opioid substitution providers. Maia fails to mention that naltrexone/Vivitrol is approved for the treatment of alcoholism with considerable success.

Lastly, Maia should come clean and admit she has a not-so-hidden agenda advocating for the legalization of all drugs including heroin, cocaine, fentanyl! Why does she not introduce herself as a Fellow of the Open Society.

[Vivitrol, Used to Fight Opioid Misuse, Has a Major ...]( Sep 13, 2023 — Vivitrol, a monthly injection of long-acting naltrexone, is the opioid treatment preferred by the criminal prosecution system, including jails, ...

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