Vivitrol is an FDA-approved prescription drug that is used to treat alcohol and opioid addiction. Vivitrol is a long-lasting, slow-release medication that’s designed to block the powerful cravings associated with opioid dependency and alcoholism. Offered by many substance abuse treatment centers as a medication assisted treatment MAT, Vivitrol can help people recovering from alcohol addiction and opioid use disorders achieve their recovery goals, but in some cases, it may prove to be habit forming itself.
What Is Vivitrol?
Vivitrol is the brand name of the generic drug Naltrexone. Healthcare professionals offer injection treatment with Vivitrol. Vivitrol blocks opioid and alcohol cravings, which is very important as reduced cravings allow recovering individuals to focus on their substance abuse treatment programs. Vivitrol injections are typically offered once every four weeks where it blocks receptors in the brain from triggering alcohol or opioid cravings until the next dose of Vivitrol is needed.
There are other versions of Naltrexone that are offered in tablet form. Vivitrol injections should not be offered to anyone who has opioids in their system or they can experience sudden opioid withdrawal symptoms. Individuals should have no amounts of opioids in their system for 10 days before taking Vivitrol. Vivitrol addiction is uncommon because it does not offer any euphoric effects; it doesn’t target the reward center in the brain, for instance. Suboxone treatments, also used to treat opioid addiction, are more habit forming than Vivitrol Naltrexone. Before starting Vivitrol, patients must complete opioid detoxification or alcohol detox.
As mentioned, Vivitrol reduces cravings that people with opioid and alcohol addictions experience during their recovery process. Vivitrol addiction treatment is regarded as safe, but Vivitrol can cause injection site reactions in some individuals. A person who is prescribed Vivitrol for opioid dependence will decrease the user’s reaction to the effects of opioids and substantially reduce their cravings. When prescribed for an alcohol dependent individual, Vivitrol treatment will not trigger sudden withdrawal symptoms as it does with opioid use, but it does block the pleasurable or intoxicating effects of alcohol use.
Signs of Vivitrol Abuse and Addiction
Vivitrol Naltrexone addiction or physical dependence is quite rare. In theory, individuals can develop a physical dependence on the drug, but it’s unlikely in this case. Even so, a person who develops an addiction to prescription drugs may demonstrate signs and symptoms of Naltrexone addiction or Suboxone and Vivitrol addiction that include:
- Attempting to obtain a supply of the drug
- Using the drug in any way that deviates from prescriptions written by healthcare providers
- Using someone else’s prescribed medication
Generally, however, a person is more likely to experience other drug addictions rather than developing an addiction to Vivitrol Naltrexone. In fact, they are more likely to experience an opioid overdose than a Vivitrol overdose. In order to block the effects of Vivitrol and the withdrawal symptoms it triggers, they may take a larger dose of an opioid drug, which can lead to overdose.
Vivitrol Withdrawal Symptoms
Vivitrol only triggers opioid withdrawal symptoms. These are serious side effects that occur if an individual uses an opioid drug during their Vivitrol addiction treatment. Vivitrol doesn’t trigger withdrawal symptoms for individuals drinking alcohol, however. In that regard, it may be more effective for treating opioid addiction rather than alcohol use disorders; however, it does reduce cravings associated with both of these addictions.
Long Term Side Effects of Vivitrol Abuse
Vivitrol is not associated with long-term side effects. When beginning medication assisted treatment, some people experience Vivitrol side effects such as:
- Nausea or upset stomach
- Sleep problems
- Irritation at injections sites
Vivitrol Addiction Treatment
Today, individuals are more likely to enroll at an addiction recovery center for substance use disorders related to opioids or alcohol–not Vivitrol. Vivitrol is an addiction treatment that is not associated with addiction; although, it may be possible to develop a dependency on the medication or to abuse it. If you are addicted to alcohol or opioids like heroin or prescription pain medications, you need an addiction treatment program that can help you manage your addiction and achieve recovery. DayBreak offers residential treatment and outpatient levels of care as well as dual diagnosis treatment, medication assisted treatment, family therapy, and more. Contact us with your questions about Vivitrol or other drug addiction treatment options today.
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