Essential facts about Vivitrol:
Vivitrol is a once-monthly medication for Opioids addiction.
- MAT with Vivitrol injection is safe and effective.
- Patients receiving Vivitrol injections are about 15x less likely to relapse.
- Patients tend to stay in treatment longer on Vivitrol shots than those who did not receive the medication.
- Opioid cravings decreased by 55% among those taking Vivitrol.
- Treatment takes from nine to twelve months.
- You must be free of opioid substances such as heroin and alcohol for at least one or two weeks before starting.
- Behavioral therapy increases its effectiveness if combined with a Vivitrol shot.
The patient must go through detox first. Then, the injection stops cravings and blocks the body’s opioid receptors, so even if users try to get high, they cannot feel it anymore.
Vivitrol is not addictive as Suboxone and Methadone. The black market is nonexistent. At first, addicts get very angry for not getting high. But later on, many are thankful. The luckiest among them haven’t even thought about sticking a needle in their arms ever since.
How does Vivitrol (injectable Naltrexone) work?
For treatment to succeed, patients in recovery require integrated, holistic treatment plans like those available at La Jolla Recovery.
In some cases, they will include prescriptions for medicines explicitly designed to treat people in recovery from opioid or alcohol addiction. One medication that’s been manufactured and distributed for this purpose is Naltrexone.
Naltrexone can be taken as either a tablet or an injectable, and most patients are given a dose of 50 milligrams once per day.
The injectable form of the drug is called Vivitrol.
Vivitrol is given intramuscularly at 380 milligrams once every four weeks. Only licensed healthcare practitioners can administer Naltrexone in any of its forms.
Naltrexone, without fully detoxing from opioids or alcohol, can cause severe withdrawal side effects. Patients must abstain from drugs for at least seven to ten days before, including those who have used Methadone and switched to Naltrexone.
Opioid drugs produce a highly addictive euphoria that completely rewires the brain’s risk and reward neural pathways. It can be incredibly challenging for people addicted to opioids to go through the withdrawal process and manage cravings without help from medications combined with customized therapy sessions.
Risk of Overdose and Vivitrol vs. Methadone & Buprenorphine
Also, people who have achieved initial sobriety from opioids, but relapse, are at high risk of experiencing a fatal overdose. Once someone enters recovery, the body quickly loses its tolerance to opioid drugs. Relapsing users can take more of an opioid than their bodies can handle, thinking they still tolerate the drugs. But taking Naltrexone can reduce this risk.
Naltrexone works by blocking the euphoric, soothing effects of opioid drugs.
Naltrexone (Vivitrol) is different from Methadone and Buprenorphine. The difference between Buprenorphine and Suboxone is that Suboxone contains buprenorphine and naloxone, whereas Subutex contains only buprenorphine. These medicines activate opioid receptors in the body and help reduce drug cravings. Instead, Naltrexone binds and blocks opioid receptors, reducing cravings and preventing opioid drugs from taking effect if someone relapses.
With Naltrexone, there is no risk of abuse or diversion because the medication doesn’t activate the opioid receptors in the brain at all. People on Naltrexone should not only maintain abstinence from opioids, but they should also avoid sedatives, tranquilizers, and other illegal drugs.
However, taking Naltrexone will also lower someone’s tolerance to opioids. Patients who relapse may not realize how much more sensitive they are to opioid drugs.
As part of a treatment plan for alcohol addiction, Naltrexone also works to block the pleasurable effects of alcohol and feelings of intoxication. Naltrexone won’t interact poorly with alcohol if someone relapses. Experts agree that for Naltrexone to be most effective, patients should be on Naltrexone therapy for at least twelve weeks. Attending to personal needs and time in recovery is essential to the effective long-term outcomes of these medications, such as treatment, therapy, and modal social support, such as the twelve steps. Naltrexone is safe to use indefinitely for treating both alcoholism and opioid addiction. For questions on mental health and dual diagnosis disorders, please reach out to us to accommodate the unique needs of yourself or your loved one.