Our Lady of Peace, Louisville, part of KentuckyOne Health, has opened the first retail pharmacist-operated, long-acting injection clinic at a behavioral health care center in the U.S. This new clinic is aimed at helping people who have opioid addiction and psychiatric patients who have schizoaffective disorders. The clinic will help these people adhere to their prescribed medications for behavioral health conditions, or get off and stay off drugs like heroin.
The clinic will dispense Vivitrol (naltrexone) to help people addicted to heroin, other opioid drugs, and alcohol. In addition, the clinic will offer immunizations.
People addicted to opioid drugs or alcohol will be administered doses of Vivitrol, which blocks the pleasurable effects of the drugs and reduces cravings. Injections stay in the patient’s system for one month at a time. The medication also eliminates the ability to get drunk or high, helping prevent relapse to opioid dependence and enabling patients to focus on counseling.
Patients who suffer from schizoaffective disorders and are not compliant with their medication therapy can receive long-acting injectable antipsychotic (LAIA) medication. Compliance is a common hurdle when treating schizophrenia, but monthly injections help because the patients don’t have to remember to take medication every day.
The clinic is intended to integrate pharmacy practice with behavioral health specialists, and will be staffed with two pharmacists and a medication access coordinator.