Louisiana Inmates Receive Naltrexone Implants in Pilot Program

Inmates with opioid use disorder at a Louisiana prison are receiving surgical implants intended to help prevent opiate effects and reduce drug cravings, according to a recent story published by The Advocate. The implant releases the commonly known drug naltrexone over a span of three to four months, varying from the standard method of daily pills or monthly shots. This pilot program, though run under the precedent of voluntary participation, faces criticism and arouses concern due to the lack of FDA approval on the implant. The Advocate mentions the first implant procedure and features commentary from Natalie Laborde:

“The first inmate had the implant surgically inserted into his abdomen at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola on Wednesday, said corrections department spokeswoman Natalie Laborde.”

“It’s not FDA approved, which is why this is a completely voluntary program,” Laborde said. “I can’t stress how voluntary.”

She added that although it’s not FDA approved, the implant device is still available for purchase and used by doctors in the U.S., although it’s not covered by insurance.

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