Vivitrol: What’s the Big Deal?

Vivitrol is an injectable medicine used for treating the dependence of alcohol and opiates.

Okay, but what does that really mean? In layman’s terms, Vivitrol is used to prevent alcohol or opiate relapse (Codeine, Vicodin, Hycodan, Oxycontin, Percoset, Dilaudid, etc.).

Vivitrol is used as a supplement to substance abuse counseling or an outpatient treatment program.

``Vivitrol, like any other medication for opioid dependence, must be accompanied by a firm commitment to recovery, including substance abuse counseling, outpatient programs, and support systems.`` - Dr. Mark Publicker

Why Would You Use Vivitrol?

Though Vivitrol is a relatively new medicine for alcohol and opiate dependence, it has proven successful for many patients.

It is suggested that Vivitrol is used in the treatment of alcohol and opiate dependence for candidates with the following qualifications:

  • Previously failed abstinence-based treatment experience
  • Poor psychosocial skills/support
  • An adolescent onset of use and overall drug – using lifestyle
  • Pain has become incorporated into the patient’s denial system

Though the aforementioned are not the only qualifying factors for access to Vivitrol, a consultation with our in-house physician will determine your compatibility with Vivitrol injections.

How Does Vivitrol Work?

Vivitrol is an injectable medicine, which means that a licensed nurse or physician will use a syringe to inject the Vivitrol into the patient’s muscle.

You may be thinking: “Is that a trigger for me or my loved one?”

The answer is best stated by Dr. A. Kenison Roy:

Buprenorphine (Vivitrol) does not make patients loaded; it’s not switching addictions.

The patient will receive a Vivitrol injection once-a-month to prevent alcohol and opiate relapse, as the medication blocks the effect of alcohol and narcotic medicines. *Vivitrol is not to be used with alcohol and opiates*

Achieve Maximum Effect

For the Vivitrol medication to achieve maximum effect for the patient, it is best that the injections are paired with an alcohol or drug recovery program.

Why? Because, although Vivitrol is used to prevent alcohol and opioid-related relapse, addiction and alcoholism run deeper than surface level.

Vivitrol should be seen as a contribution to sobriety as opposed to a solution for sobriety. Our clients who receive Vivitrol injections as an addition to their general treatment program prove to find great peace-of-mind and freedom from the tight constraints of addiction.

Learn more about our program options as a supplement to your Vivitrol treatment:

Do I Have to Use Vivitrol Forever?

Good news! No, you do not have to use Vivitrol forever!

If, you supplement Vivitrol treatment with a general substance abuse treatment program as addiction counseling and holistic therapy digs deep into the root of addiction as opposed to skimming the surface.

Buprenorphine (Vivitrol) does not make patients loaded; it's not switching addictions.
Vivitrol Warnings

We believe it is best to list both the positives and negative attributes of all treatment options, which is why we have included this ‘warning’ section.

As listed on the Vivitrol website, the following are common warnings for Vivitrol patients prior to injecting the medication:

  • Do not take if you have any opioid withdrawal symptoms due to either dependence of opiates or opioid medications
  • Do not take while intoxicated from alcohol
  • Do not take if you are detoxing from opiates
  • Vivitrol should not be used if you have pre-existing liver problems
Common Side Effects
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, mild stomach pain
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Cold symptoms
  • Anxiety
  • Depressed mood swings
  • Sleep problems
  • Dry mouth
  • Mild tenderness or discomfort at the injection site
  • Blurred vision
  • Cough, wheezing, or breathing problems
  • Liver problems including nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stool, jaundice
Is Vivitrol Right For You?

Having learned all of the facts, is Vivitrol right for you or your loved one?

Speak with our staff to learn more about our treatment options, including Vivitrol, and we will help you determine the best program for your needs.

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