Vivitrol Treatment for an Opioid Addiction

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With locations across the country, our Vivitrol clinics provide adults struggling with addiction the ability to recover from heroin, oxycodone, Percocet, and other opiates.

Learn About Vivitrol

Consisting of naltrexone, Vivitrol is a non-narcotic, non-addictive prescription medication that can be used to treat addictions to heroin and prescription painkillers. This invaluable medication is considered an opioid antagonist and is typically administered one time each month via injection. When taken under the supervision of a trained medical professional within a licensed treatment center, Vivitrol is capable of helping men and women alike make great strides towards achieving their recovery goals.

After receiving an injection of Vivitrol, a person is no longer saddled with overwhelming cravings for continued opioid use and the uncomfortable physical symptoms of withdrawal that opioid users typically experience following the cessation of heroin or painkiller abuse. The reason for this is because naltrexone, Vivitrol’s active ingredient, interacts with the same receptors in the brain that are normally activated when opioid substances are abused. This ultimately allows a person to have both the clarity of mind and ability to function without having to grapple with the process of withdrawal.

Additionally, the extended-release properties of this medication make it so that individuals are able to participate in their daily lives without having to report to their treatment center on a daily basis to receive their medication. Furthermore, and because Vivitrol is given only once per month, a person does not have to worry about missing a daily dosage.

Generally speaking, when taking Vivitrol while participating in the additional programming options available within medication assisted treatment, a person is able to focus on recovery and participate in daily responsibilities and obligations without interruption.

Safety and Effectiveness of Vivitrol for Treating Opioid Addiction

Given the highly controlled manner in which Vivitrol is prescribed and administered, this medication is reported as being extremely safe for those who elect to use it during treatment. Only a qualified and licensed medical professional can give an individual this medication, which prevents the risk of abusing it and a person’s chances of consuming it in an amount that would be dangerous to his or her health.

Vivitrol was originally approved for use within addiction treatment centers for alcohol addiction treatment by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006. However, after extensive research concluded its ability to greatly help those struggling with addictions to heroin and prescription painkillers, the FDA gave its seal of approval in 2010 for Vivitrol to be used for the treatment of opioid addictions as well. What was discovered via research is that those who receive monthly Vivitrol injections are likely to experience the following:

  • 2% more opioid-free days (when compared to those who either took other types of medication offered within medication assisted treatment or did not receive any type of medication to alleviate the effects of opioids)
  • Less intense cravings for continuing opioid use (research subjects reported that following their injections of this medication, they experienced cravings that were 10 times less intense when compared to taking other medications or not taking medications at all)
  • Greater success in avoiding relapse (the majority of those who continued to take this medication for one full year or more remained opioid-free)
  • An improved overall quality of life

The findings of this research ultimately confirm the effectiveness of Vivitrol for the treatment of heroin and/or prescription painkiller addictions.

Benefits of Utilizing Vivitrol within Medication-Assisted Treatment

Partaking in medication-assisted treatment enables an individual to reap many benefits. Firstly, a person is able to determine if Vivitrol is the appropriate medication needed to work towards achieving a recovered life through collaborating with dedicated and trained professionals who are able to decide if this medication will garner the most favorable treatment outcomes.

Secondly, these same professionals are able to administer Vivitrol, supervise a person’s progress while taking this medication, and work with patients to determine when it is appropriate to help them wean off of this medication. In sum, each step of an individual’s treatment experience can be monitored while he or she is taking Vivitrol within this type of program.

Thirdly, while taking Vivitrol, a person is able to effectively participate in the therapeutic interventions that are offered within medication-assisted treatment. Individual therapy sessions, which allow patients to process their experiences and emotions with a counselor in a one-on-one setting, are offered in this type of care and can help men and women develop the confidence and skills needed to remain on the path of recovery. Additionally, group therapy sessions, which include several patients and one or more counselors, are also offered and can help men and women receive the information, support, and guidance that they need to hold true to their treatment goals.

In conclusion, receiving Vivitrol while participating in medication-assisted treatment can provide several advantages for a person who desires to live a life that is no longer controlled by heroin or prescription painkillers.

Side Effects of Vivitrol

Before beginning a Vivitrol treatment regimen, it is necessary for an individual to report any additional medications that are being taken and any other medical concerns that are preexisting prior to one’s first injection of this medication. By disclosing this information to one’s treatment provider, the effectiveness and safety of Vivitrol can be preserved.

Additionally, as with the consumption of other prescription medications, it is important to know that taking Vivitrol can also bring about side effects. Prior to taking this medication, it is necessary to discuss the potential side effects that may occur, and if they happen, to report them to your treatment provider as soon as possible.

The following are among the side effects that an individual may experience while taking Vivitrol:

  • Liver damage
  • Pain, swelling or scabbing near the injection site
  • Depression
  • Shortness of breath, persistent cough, or other respiratory problems
  • Sneezing
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased appetite
  • Muscle cramps
  • Dental pain
  • A runny nose and watery eyes
  • Headache

Despite the above side effects, however, Vivitrol remains one of the safest and most effective medications used to treat opioid addictions.

If you or someone you care about would like to learn more about Vivitrol, the other medications offered within medication assisted treatment, and the therapeutic interventions that are offered within this type of care, do not hesitate to contact your nearest comprehensive treatment center today.

A healthier, brighter, opioid-free future is within reach.