This medication has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of both opioid addiction and alcoholism. If you are addicted to either alcohol, opiate drugs or many other substances, Vivitrol is a medication you should consider. It is the safest form of medication assisted treatment (MAT) on the market.
Vivitrol is a drug that is available by injection only. You must go through the detoxification process before you can begin treatment with this medication. This can take a period of about 7 to 14 days.
You’ll meet with Dr. Weathers, our Medical Director, to discuss your treatment options. If he feels that Vivitrol is right for you, he’ll prescribe it for you. Usually, a nurse will administer the injection into the buttocks area. It is no more painful than any other shot would be.
You must be careful to take Vivitrol on a strict schedule. The shot is good for 28 days because the medication is in an extended release format. Vivitrol is most effective for you when taken every 28 days, so it’s important that you always make your scheduled injection times.
Once you have had your injection, the medication will work right away. Some people experience almost immediate relief from cravings. The opioid receptors are blocked immediately, preventing opiates from euphorigenic feelings (or getting “high”) as soon as it is administered.
Once you receive the medication, you will notice that your cravings for alcohol and/or opiates are significantly decreased. This protection should last for the duration of the entire 30 days.
Going to therapy while taking Vivitrol is very important. In fact, many providers won’t prescribe this drug without a recovery program on board as well. You need to have therapy in order for it to be as effective as possible.
For you, this means you have a few different options. You may choose to go to an inpatient treatment center for addiction. Many of them currently offer Vivitrol treatments. An outpatient or IOP program is another option you have available to you. Many have started using this medication to help their patients.
It’s crucial for you to get to the root cause of your addiction. No medication is going to figure that out for you. Therapy will give you the support you need to remain in recovery long-term.
It is expensive to take Naltrexone if you have to pay for it yourself. Many people don’t have health insurance, and so this is an expense they need to cover. You may find yourself paying $1,500 a month for just one injection.
If you don’t have insurance, there are still ways that you can get help to pay for Vivitrol. You can contact the company that makes it and ask about their savings program. It could potentially provide this medication to you at no charge.
Each year, more states are allowing Vivitrol to be covered under their Medicaid programs. This is encouraging because it means that a lot more people will have access to this treatment. If you have a private health insurance, there’s no need to worry. Your health insurance company may cover your treatment as well.
For those who have reached their deductible on insurance, Vivitrol should be completely covered. If you haven’t reached your deductible, assistance programs are available to help with the costs of Vivitrol. Our staff works tirelessly to handle this paperwork process for you so you can focus on treatment.
When you first inquire about your treatment, the rehab program will also verify your insurance. This will help to answer a lot of questions about your care and what you qualify for.
When you begin taking Vivitrol, you may notice some side effects. You might have some pain and tenderness at the injection site as you would any injection. There could be a bruise and the area might itch. Tell your doctor if you feel concerned about it.
Other side effects you might experience can include:
There are some rare side effects that can occur. These need to be reported to your doctor immediately. It may be necessary to stop Vivitrol if you experience any of the following:
In rare cases, Naltrexone can lead to liver damage or liver disease. However, this is usually only an issue when higher doses of the drug are used. If you notice a rash, swelling or severe itching, this could indicate an allergy. You need to report this as well.
The generic name for Vivitrol is Naltrexone. This is a medication that has shown to reduce cravings and prevent opiates from working in your body. It works so well because it effectively blocks the opioid receptors in your body. With that barrier in place, the alcohol and opiate molecules cannot get through.
Vivitrol is not available over the counter. You can only get this form of MAT by prescription. Your doctor will prescribe it for you, and then a nurse must administer it. It is very effective, and using it has helped so many people.
Suboxone is a drug that is frequently given to people with opioid addictions. They take it as a part of opioid replacement therapy. It works, but it’s not without its problems. One of them being the risk for secondary addiction. Also, Suboxone is only available orally, which means it’s not as convenient. It’s very easy to miss a dose of your medication when you need to take it on a daily basis, and if you miss a dose of Suboxone you will experience withdrawal symptoms. This is not the case Vivitrol- if you miss a dose of Vivitrol you will simply not have the benefits it provides.
Vivitrol has been shown to be just as effective at treating opioid addiction as Suboxone. According to a study that was recently done by NIDA, more doctors are switching to Vivitrol. They’re finding that their patients are responding very well, avoiding relapse, without the disadvantages to Suboxone and Methadone therapy.
If you haven’t done well with Suboxone or other Buprenorphine drugs, it’s worth trying Vivitrol instead. You may find that it’s the key to your recovery that you have been looking for.
While Naltrexone has been shown to benefit a large number of people, it’s not right for everyone. You might not be a candidate for the shot if you:
Most people who abuse alcohol and opioid drugs do not fall into the above categories. If you are an addict, and none of the above applies to you, you may be a good candidate for Vivitrol. Your doctor will tell you if they think it’s something you should try.
Good candidates for vivitrol include those:
You may find it helpful to see some reviews from people who have used Vivitrol. This is what a few of them had to say.
Becky says, “My prescription drug addiction progressed until I was way out of control. I quickly went from taking one or two Oxycodone pills a day to taking more than 200 in a weekend. It wasn’t long after that when I turned to heroin because Oxy wasn’t working anymore. I tried recovering a lot of different ways, but I would always relapse. Looking back, I’m lucky that I didn’t overdose. When the doctor started me on Vivitrol, I could see that this time was going to be different. I took the shot for a year, and today, I’m like a new person. It’s amazing how much Vivitrol helped me gain control over my life again.”
Jim says, “Alcohol was my drug of choice. The funny part was that I thought I had it all under control. I didn’t even drink every day. I only drank on the weekends and a few times during the week. Still, I looked forward to those days when I knew alcohol would be waiting for me. My family encouraged me to get help, and I reluctantly went to rehab. Needless to say, it didn’t work. Or rather, I didn’t work it. I had no motivation to stop drinking. It was something that I enjoyed, and I didn’t see the harm in it. Finally, a doctor started me on Vivitrol during my last rehab stint. It turns out that was the key for me. Vivitrol helped by controlling my cravings. It wasn’t long before I just didn’t want to drink anymore. I can’t imagine where I would be today without it.”
Yes, it can be dangerous to use opiates or drink while taking Vivitrol. First of all, if you decide to use, you’re setting yourself up for a relapse. This could quickly lead to an overdose, depending on the type of drug you’re using.
If you drink alcohol while taking Vivitrol, you won’t feel any ill effects. It’s not a drug that will make you feel sick if you drink while using it. Also, you may notice that you are still able to feel “drunk”. Vivitrol is not going to block the effects of alcohol on your body, but it will make alcohol much less appealing since the pleasurable feelings you may have once experienced with alcohol are no longer there.
There is a much larger risk of using opiates while taking Vivitrol. While the opioid receptors block opiates from making you feel high, the opiates still affect your body (blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate). When some people attempt to use opiates while taking Vivitrol and aren’t able to get high, they sometimes attempt to overcome this blockage and use more. This could mean that their dosages reach dangerous levels and an overdose might be the result. When you consider the fact that overdose rates are at an all-time high, this is very concerning.
Please, remember why you started taking Vivitrol- this medication is to be used for those truly seeking sobriety. Remain in treatment and allow the medication to do its job. You don’t need to use drugs or alcohol to enjoy your life.
If you’re addicted to opiate drugs or alcohol, there’s no better time than now to recover. It is possible, and Vivitrol may be a big part of your success.
Do you have additional questions about our Vivitrol services? Contact us today and let us know how we can help you.