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Vivitrol Abuse and Addiction

Vivitrol Addiction & Treatment

Vivitrol is used in the ongoing treatment and maintenance of alcohol addiction and opioid addiction. It interacts with opioid receptors in the brain to reduce cravings for opioids or alcohol and reduces the effect that either would have if they were to be taken in relapse. Vivitrol is an effective relapse prevention tool for those struggling with opioid or alcohol addiction because it reduces the cravings an individual has for their drug of choice.

What Is Vivitrol?

Vivitrol is the brand name of the drug Naltrexone, and it’s an opioid blocker that blocks the opioid receptors in the brain. Administered by extended-release injection or by injectable suspension (quick release), it’s an effective drug addiction treatment for alcohol and opioid relapse prevention.  

How does an opioid blocker stop someone from craving alcohol? In some people, alcohol activates their opioid system. If this opioid pathway interaction contributes to a person’s alcohol dependence, using Vivitrol will help reduce that risk.  

In treating opiate addiction, Vivitrol can be effective for obvious reasons. By blocking the opioid receptors in the brain, the effect of opioids will be lessened. Therefore, people will be less likely to pursue and prolong their opioid use disorders.  

Vivitrol Effects

Vivitrol has no psychoactive effects meaning the person taking it will not feel a high from it. They will likely have a reduced craving for their drug of choice (if they have previously developed a physical dependence on alcohol or an opiate addiction). This reduced desire and the reduced effect of the use of alcohol or opiates (should they happen to be used in a relapse) is the desired effect of Vivitrol. 

Signs of Vivitrol Abuse and Addiction

Because Vivitrol does not have any psychoactive effects and because it’s a by-injection opioid antagonist that is very often administered by healthcare professionals (and therefore not available directly to the user), Vivitrol treatment has a very low substance abuse potential. It’s part of an addiction treatment that’s used to temper other substance abuse disorders like alcohol addiction or opioid addiction.

There would be no signs that a physical dependence or psychological dependence would occur with Vivitrol use. Vivitrol addiction treatment treats alcohol or opioid addiction and is not a drug of abuse itself.  

There are potential side effects with Vivitrol use. These include:

  • GI discomfort and/or diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Feeling restless or nervous
  • Exhaustion or energy/sleep problems
  • Muscle or joint pain

Vivitrol Withdrawal Symptoms

Vivitrol does not have any withdrawal symptoms. However, Vivitrol can cause sudden opioid withdrawal if used while opioids are still in the user’s system. It’s important to allow 7 to 14 days after the last use of pain medication or heroin until the first Vivitrol shot.

Long Term Side Effects of Vivitrol Abuse

In rare cases, Vivitrol injections can cause serious side effects like liver toxicity or eosinophilic pneumonia.  However, because the effects of taking Vivitrol as part of an addiction treatment program are usually so beneficial, these are generally considered acceptable risks. 

Vicodin Addiction Treatment

Vivitrol is an effective treatment as part of a medication-assisted treatment for relapse prevention. By blocking the effects of opioids inside the body, Vivitrol reduces cravings and can boost the outcome of alcohol addiction treatment or opioid addiction treatment. It reduces the risk of overdose death by preventing the cravings for opioids or alcohol in the first place.  

Treatment with Vivitrol is most helpful as a part of a broader therapeutic approach. Treatment therapies that can be used simultaneously are behavior therapy, family therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and other behavioral health therapies.  

If you or one of your loved ones is struggling with alcohol, opioid, or pain medication addiction and would like to get professional help, contact our recovery center today to see if the level of care we can provide is right for your situation.