Medical advancements have paved the way for innovative approaches to recovery, and one such breakthrough is Vivitrol. Vivitrol, known generically as naltrexone, blocks the effects of opioids and is used as part of a holistic treatment plan for substance use. The purpose is to prevent relapse in individuals who are dependent on opioids.
If you or a loved one is seeking treatment for an opioid use disorder, it’s important to know what Vivitrol is. You will likely come across this treatment option, and it may even be included in your treatment plan.
What is Vivitrol?
Vivitrol is a medication designed to help individuals overcome addiction to opioids and alcohol. Unlike other medications used for addiction treatment, Vivitrol is administered via a monthly injection, providing a sustained release of the active ingredient, naltrexone, into the body.
This medication was officially approved in 2010 by the FDA for the prevention of opioid dependence. It works by binding to opioid receptors in the brain for up to one month. This way, if a person relapses, Vivitrol will block the pleasurable effects of the medication so they can’t get high.
Key Benefits of Vivitrol
For those battling opioid or alcohol use disorders, Vivitrol can help them find sustainable recoveries. Here are the key benefits of this medication:
- Long-lasting effectiveness: The monthly injection ensures consistent and uninterrupted support, promoting long-term recovery efforts.
- Reduced cravings: By curbing cravings, Vivitrol helps people focus on their recovery without the constant distraction of intense urges to use substances.
- Decreased risk of relapse: Vivitrol’s ability to block the effects of opioids and alcohol significantly reduces the risk of relapse, providing individuals with a valuable safety net.
- Non-addictive: Unlike some other medications used in addiction treatment, Vivitrol is not addictive and does not lead to physical dependence.
- Supports holistic recovery: When combined with counseling, therapy and support groups, Vivitrol becomes a powerful component of a holistic approach to addiction recovery.
Who is Vivitrol Right For?
While Vivitrol has proven to be highly effective for many individuals, it’s important to note that it may not be suitable for everyone. Currently, the medication has not been studied on children, so it’s only approved for individuals 18 and over.
Additionally, individuals must be opioid or alcohol-free for at least 7-10 days before starting Vivitrol to avoid withdrawal symptoms. A healthcare professional will assess the patient’s medical history and determine the suitability of Vivitrol as part of their treatment plan.
There are also side effects to be aware of such as nausea, vomiting, injection site reactions, cramps, lightheadedness and decreased appetite. Ideally, the goal is to stop the injections so that individuals can live substance-free. On average, this takes about a year.
Vivitrol: Part of a Holistic Addiction Treatment Plan
Vivitrol offers a lifeline to those battling opioid and alcohol dependence. Its ability to reduce cravings and prevent relapse provides individuals with the support they need to rebuild their lives. To learn more about starting your recovery from opioid or alcohol use, contact Spearhead Health at 310-561-1704. Let us help you find a path to recovery that works for you.