More than a dozen graduate from state DOC Opioid Addiction program

14 people graduate from the state's Department of Corrections Opioid Addiction Program in Green Bay, August 7, 2018. (WLUK)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- A Wisconsin Department of Corrections program is making a difference in the lives of those struggling with addiction.

On Tuesday, 14 drug offenders graduated from the state's DOC Opioid Addiction Program.

The 12-month program has participants work with a parole officer and engage in supportive services such as AA programs and drug dependency programs.

The program also administers the non-addictive and non-intoxicating drug, Vivitrol, to help curb cravings.

The goal is to get them to continue to live drug-free.

“There is a second chance for those struggling with addiction, and this graduation is a massive step on the continued path of recovery,” said Attorney General Brad Schimel. “Those completing this program will be challenged by the disease of addiction, but with love and support from their family and community, a healthy and prosperous life is possible. The treatment offered through this program and drug courts across Wisconsin can transform lives and loosen the opioid epidemic’s hold on Wisconsin.”

Recent graduate, Allie Gallenberger of Manitowoc, says she’s tried to kick her addiction alone many times but failed.

She says Vivitrol helped her focus on her recovery, "It fills the receptors in your brain so you don’t have those cravings for opioids or alcohol also, and you can focus on the treatment that you have going on and focus on helping yourself rather than concentrating on the cravings that you’re having for drugs."

The program was established as part of Governor Scott Walker's 2015-2017 budget and has continued in the 2017-2019 budget.

Other states have similar programs, including Colorado, Missouri and Florida.

In total, 58 inmates have completed the program.

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