How It Works and Is It Safe?
First approved for opioid addiction treatment in 2010 and for alcohol treatment in 2006 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Vivitrol is a prescription opioid-antagonist that is used within medication assisted treatment programs to aid individuals in overcoming addictions to alcohol and opioids. Vivitrol is given to patients once monthly via injection and utilizes an extended-release version of naltrexone as its main active ingredient. Naltrexone has been used in opioid treatment programs since 1984 and has been proven as a safe method for individuals to use in their recovery processes. When taken as directed under the supervision of a medical professional, Vivitrol is safe for both short and long-term use. Since naltrexone does increase the risk for liver damage, it is important to undergo a complete physical examination prior to using Vivitrol to ensure that it is safe for you medically.
Naltrexone (Vivitrol) is not safe for use by women who are pregnant and cannot be taken by patients who have consumed opioids in the last seven days. As is true with most prescription medications, side effects can take place while on Vivitrol. By discussing the side effects of Vivitrol with your healthcare provider, you will be able to determine if Vivitrol is the appropriate choice to implement into your medication assisted treatment program.
The Effectiveness of Vivitrol Treatment
Numerous studies have documented the effectiveness of Vivitrol. One recent study concluded that individuals who received Vivitrol reported an average of 99.2 percent opioid-free days. In addition, patients who received Vivitrol reported drug cravings to be 10 times lower in comparison to those who did not take Vivitrol.
Another study concluded that the majority of individuals who utilized Vivitrol within a medication assisted treatment program continued to experience successful outcomes 12 months following the study. Fifty percent of the patients remained completely opioid-free, zero patients reported any serious reactions at the site of injection, and the majority of individuals noted experiencing overall positive results, including a reduction in drug cravings, lessened opioid use, and a general improvement in their quality of life.
Benefits of Vivitrol Treatment Plus Counseling
San Diego Comprehensive Treatment Centers utilize Vivitrol as part of the comprehensive care we offer. By providing individuals with both group and individual counseling, patients are given the opportunity to obtain the tools necessary for long-term recovery.
How You Can Be Successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program: It is important to first understand that treatment is just one portion of a comprehensive long-term effort to achieve and maintain sobriety. The process of recovery will require dedication and a commitment to both your personal health, as well as your recovery, in order for changes to be made. In order to obtain the most out of treatment, it is important to understand that your treatment providers are there to help you achieve your goals. Patients will be required to take an open and honest look at their lives in order to understand what led them to opioid use in the first place. By gaining an understanding of what caused you to turn to opioids, you will be able to learn the tools necessary for dealing with stressful situations in a way that does not include the use of substances.
How to Support Your Loved One during Medication Assisted Treatment: Although watching someone you love suffer from an opioid addiction can be heartbreaking and frustrating, please remember that your support will not be lost on him or her. Your support could very well be the reason why they were able to enter treatment and your continued dedication could be the difference between maintaining sobriety and relapsing. By educating yourself about what is involved within a medication assisted treatment program, as well as what is required for long-term recovery, you will be able to obtain the support required to aid your loved one throughout their journey. It is also important to remember to obtain support for yourself during your loved one’s journey to recovery. By attending support group meetings and family therapy, you will be given the opportunity to heal and obtain support for your individual needs as well. San Diego Comprehensive Treatment Centers are an excellent resource to find the treatment you need to support your loved one.
The Side Effects of Vivitrol
The following potential side effects have been associated with the use of Vivitrol:
- Liver damage
- Dental pain
- Muscle cramps
- Decreased appetite
- Pain, swelling, or scabbing at the injection site
- Shortness of breath, persistent cough, or other respiratory problems
- Runny nose and watery eyes
For more information about Vivitrol, as well as the other treatment options available, please contact San Diego Comprehensive Treatment Centers today. We look forward to helping you achieve the sober life that you are capable of living.