Addiction can be extremely difficult to overcome without professional help. Even with detox and counseling, lingering cravings and urges to drink or use drugs can burden you in early recovery. One approach to treating opioid and alcohol addiction involves using Vivitrol, an FDA-approved injection that can decrease cravings and reduce your risk for relapse.
Speak with a qualified team member at Arise Treatment Center today to see if Vivitrol treatment in California is right for you.
What is Vivitrol?
Vivitrol is the name brand for an extended-release injection of naltrexone. Naltrexone is a medication that is approved for the treatment of opioid and alcohol use disorder. However, before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Vivitrol, naltrexone was only available in tablet form (ReVia or Depade) that patients had to take on a daily basis.
Vivitrol, on the other hand, is administered once a month by a licensed medical professional. The monthly shot eliminates the need to take daily medication or remember to take a pill each day, thereby increasing medication adherence.
Like generic naltrexone, Vivitrol is also used to treat addictions to opioids and alcohol.
Vivitrol for Alcohol Use Disorder
Vivitrol was originally approved by the FDA only for the treatment of alcohol use disorder. It was granted FDA approval in 2006.
Naltrexone works in the brain to stabilize brain chemistry and reduce the desire to drink. In clinical trials, patients being treated with Vivitrol on an outpatient basis reported 25% fewer heavy drinking days each month than those treated with a placebo.
Vivitrol for Opioid Use Disorder
In October of 2010, the FDA extended the approval of Vivitrol to be used in the treatment of opioid addiction.
Naltrexone works by blocking the euphoric and sedative effects of opioids like heroin, morphine, and oxycodone. It does this by binding to and blocking opioid receptors in the brain. This can help reduce opioid cravings with no potential for abuse or dependence.
Vivitrol is the first and only non-narcotic, non-addictive, once-monthly medication used to treat opioid addiction. It is often viewed as a safer alternative to other opioid treatment medications that carry a risk for abuse and dependence, such as methadone or Suboxone (buprenorphine).
How Does the Vivitrol Shot Work?
Vivitrol is meant to be used after detox. You should not take Vivitrol if you are still taking or detoxing from opioids or alcohol. Receiving the injection too early can result in severe vomiting, nausea, discomfort, cramping, and other symptoms. Vivitrol is also only effective when it is combined with behavioral therapy and counseling, so it’s important to actively participate in a treatment program while taking the medication.
7-10 days after stopping opioids or alcohol, you may receive your first injection. Injections are only administered in a doctor’s office and they can’t be taken home with you or self-administered.
Vivitrol is an intramuscular injection which means it is injected into the muscle. It is usually administered in the buttocks or glute. The injection provides your body with a stable dose of naltrexone that lasts for up to 30 days, working to alleviate cravings and support recovery.
Vivitrol is not habit-forming, so you won’t experience symptoms of withdrawal when taking the medication. With that being said, it’s important to continue taking the medication as long as your doctor advises that you do so.
Vivitrol Side Effects
The most common side effects are short-lasting injection site reactions. In the days after receiving the shot, you may experience pain, swelling, redness, itching, and irritation at the injection site. These symptoms are normal and should subside after a couple of days, but if they persist or continue to worsen please speak with your medical provider.
Other common side effects may include:
- Lack of appetite
- Joint pain
- Muscle cramps
- Difficulty sleeping
Many of these symptoms will subside as your body gets used to the medication.
If you take Vivitrol and begin having any serious side effects, you should contact your doctor immediately. Severe, but rare side effects include:
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Suicidal thoughts
- Blisters or sores at the injection site
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Allergic reaction (rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, or trouble breathing)
Vivitrol as Part of Medication-Assisted Treatment in California
Medication is only one small part of recovery, and Vivitrol is only effective when it is combined with comprehensive treatment involving behavioral therapy, counseling, and support groups. This type of integrated treatment is known as “medication-assisted treatment” or “MAT.”
While receiving monthly Vivitrol injections, you will engage in a variety of individualized, evidence-based therapies and addiction treatment services, including:
- Individual substance abuse counseling
- Process groups
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Relapse prevention therapy
- 12-Step facilitation therapy
- Family therapy
- Recreational therapy
- Experiential therapy
- Life skills therapy
- Mental health counseling
- Case management
- Aftercare planning and support
You may receive treatment on an inpatient or outpatient basis depending on the severity of your addiction and your current situation. After finishing treatment, you may continue taking Vivitrol as part of a long-term medication management plan.
When your doctor thinks you are ready and able to stay sober without the medication, you may stop getting the injections, but follow-up appointments are highly recommended to monitor your well-being.
Find Addiction Treatment With Vivitrol in California Today
At Arise Treatment Center, our multidisciplinary team of skilled doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, counselors, and addiction professionals work collaboratively to provide you with evidence-based treatment and rehabilitation. We are committed to delivering personalized care to each and every patient.
If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction to alcohol or opioids, Vivitrol treatment in Southern California may be right for you. Call now to speak with an admissions coordinator about the treatment options we offer and how we can help you start your recovery journey.