There’s a medication making waves in the battle against opioid addiction.
Vivitrol is a one-a-month, injectable medication which treats opioid addiction, and in some cases, alcoholism. It is an extended release version of the drug naltrexone, which is also used to treat opioid abusers. Vivitrol is non-addictive, meaning it does not cause withdrawal symptoms after stopping its use.
Vivitrol blocks opioid receptors in the brain, making it impossible to get a “high” from using opioids, such as heroin. This can help the user get used to functioning in life without using opioids, and get them through the period where they are vulnerable to relapse.
Vivitrol is thought to curb alcohol dependence in the same way. While it is primary used for opioid addiction, there have been cases where it has helped alcohol abusers. Vivitrol helps block the abundance of endorphins released when using alcohol, stopping the pleasure seeking cycle that the brain grows attached to.
According to an article by WebMD, a study followed 300 newly released prisoners who were former addicts. When using Vivitrol, only 43% relapsed within 6 months of release. This is significantly better than the results for other treatments used, which had 64% relapsing in the same time frame.
The cons of Vivitrol is that the user must be clean from opioids for 7 to 14 days before beginning treatment. Vivitrol does NOT treat withdrawal symptoms, and using opioids while on Vivitrol can be dangerous, even deadly. This is why many doctors recommend that the patient undergoes detox before being prescribed Vivitrol.
Vivitrol can be extremely helpful in getting people past the first couple months of sobriety. The beginning is the hardest part, because it is easy to give into cravings and relapse. By using Vivitrol, there is no way to get high from opioids, even if the user tries to. This forces the user to adapt to sober living. While some people are able to regain control over their addictions without medical assistance, medications like Vivitrol can be helpful to those needing extra assistance in battling their addictions.
Vivitrol is a good start to ending the physical symptoms of opioid addiction. Many times, though, behavioral treatment is needed to help the patient become committed to sobriety. Counseling services can help, as well as therapy groups like AA.
Another method of recovery is going to rehab. When someone is addicted, it can be difficult to convince them to give up their habits and pursue sober living. In rehab, patients are under 24/7 medical supervision, and are taught how to control their addiction and engage in sober living. Once Vivitrol has been used, and the addict has ceased using drugs for a time, it may be helpful for them to enroll in a rehab facility.
For more information on different rehab centers, and the benefits they provide, visit Step One Rehab or call 888-906-1726.