Individuals who suffer from substance use disorder and are considering detox have several options for treatment to combat cravings. Vivitrol is a medication that is used in the treatment for alcoholism and opioid (i.e., heroin, morphine, prescription pain medications) addiction. This medication is a solution of naltrexone that is released slowly over time. Vivitrol is administered once monthly by injection. In 2006, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved the medication for the treatment of alcoholism.
How Does Vivitrol Work for Addiction Treatment?
Doctors prescribe the medication to individuals who are undergoing substance use disorder treatment and have already gone through detox quit drinking and/or using opioids. The medication works by blocking the effects of opioids, which decreases the overall reinforcement of doing opioid drugs. It is unknown how the drug works with individuals who abuse alcohol, but it has been shown to change the way in which the brain reacts to the consumption of alcohol. Doctors administer Vivitrol through an intramuscular injection once monthly.
It has proven to be a very effective tool in combatting addiction; however, the shot alone is not an effective treatment for full recovery and should be used in combination with therapy and guidance from a licensed professional.
Side Effects of Vivitrol
According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, the side effects of the medication can include:
- Muscle cramps
- Joint pain
- Liver damage
- Allergic reactions (e.g., swelling of the face, rashes, and hives)
- Thoughts of suicide and suicidal behavior
- Feelings of depression
- Injection site reactions
- Nasal inflammation
- Increase in liver enzymes
Positive Factors of the Shot
There are several positive factors related to using this medication in a recovery setting. It is able to block the effects of alcohol and opioids, which makes a person less likely to take abuse these substances. It also may decrease the chance of individuals relapsing as it can help prevent or alleviate drug/alcohol cravings.
This treatment also is not a high maintenance form of treatment—individuals do not have to take pills daily or visit health professionals multiple times throughout the week. It simply requires visiting the doctor once a month to receive a single injection.
That said, as helpful as certain types of anti-addiction medications (such as Vivitrol) can be, they are never a replacement for residential addiction treatment. They are most effective when added to a plan that a licensed addiction therapist has compiled specifically for an individual.
Orange County Detox for Full Recovery
If you or your loved one are interested in finding out more about Vivitrol, or are interested in including the shot in a lasting recovery plan, please call SoCal Detox today. Our team of professionals are here to guide you to the most effective path towards recovery. It starts with a high-quality detox, but it continues with the guidance of an involved professional team to help you make the best choices for your future. Please call Socal Detox today: tel:888-590-0777.