In recent years, tremendous developments have taken place in treating substance use disorders.
New treatments, such as Vivitrol, can help give patients the physical support they need to achieve long-term abstinence, rather than relying on behavior modification alone.
Vivitrol is an injectable medication that can help individuals struggling with substance use disorder. It rids chemically-induced cravings from their daily lives and can be highly successful when integrated into comprehensive treatment plans.
Read on for more information about Master Center of Addiction Medicine’s Vivitrol treatments.
We provide people with the support they need to make their recovery a long-term success.
Why Use Vivitrol to Treat Substance Use Disorders?
When patients need help overcoming both the behavioral and the physical causes of addiction, Vivitrol can be a valuable addition to their treatment plan.
Vivitrol should always be a supplement to — not a replacement for — other types of behavioral therapy. When administered correctly, Vivitrol can provide patients with a powerful tool to curb addictive impulses on all fronts.
In the past, medical treatments for substance use disorder primarily focused on creating negative associations with substance consumption by provoking illness.
Vivitrol, on the other hand, works by minimizing the positive associations instead.
Both methods discourage further substance use, but Vivitrol can accomplish this in a manner that doesn’t rely on inducing discomfort and illness on the road to recovery.
Vivitrol works best when treating patients who are also committed to rehabilitative counseling and other long-term behavioral treatments. Vivitrol is proven to significantly reduce a patient’s substance dependence when used alongside these methods.
How Can Vivitrol Help Someone in Addiction Treatment?
Vivitrol assists with addiction treatment by minimizing the cravings that drive substance use over time.
While substance abuse disorders are often exclusively attributed to behavioral dependence, there is also a major physiological component to consider.
Chemical reactions, such as the release of endorphins, occur in the brain upon consuming addictive substances like alcohol and opioids. These reactions trigger pleasurable feelings, conditioning the brain to crave the substance.
Naltrexone helps disrupt this chain of neurological events by suppressing the usual chemical reactions in the brain. Naltrexone is the active ingredient in Vivitrol injection. It binds to endorphins upon release and prevents them from stimulating feelings of euphoria.
With the chemically induced pleasure of drinking or opioid use diminished, the brain finds it much easier to resist the urge to submit to the usual cravings. With cravings blocked, the drive to drink fades away as well.
By reducing the brain’s chemical dependence on addictive substances, Vivitrol can allow patients to focus their energy on the behavioral aspects of recovery instead.
Vivitrol for Opioid Use Treatment: What To Know
Before embarking on a Vivitrol treatment plan for opioid use disorder, you must detox from all opioids first.
Vivitrol’s manufacturer recommends that “you must stop taking any type of opioid, including street drugs; prescription pain medicines; cough, cold, or diarrhea medicines that contain opioids; or opioid-dependence treatments, including buprenorphine or methadone, for at least 7 to 14 days before starting Vivitrol.”
Improper use of Vivitrol can also lead to increased risk of an accidental opioid overdose in two ways:
- Vivitrol works by blocking the effects of opioids. If you try to overcome this blocking effect by taking large amounts of opioids, it can lead to serious injury or death.
- Vivitrol’s blocking effect decreases and eventually disappears over time. Consuming opioids in the amounts you used before commencing Vivitrol treatment can lead to overdose and death.
If you are actively using opiates, consult your doctor before getting Vivitrol treatment.
Vivitrol for Alcohol Cessation: What To Know
Drinking alcohol is not recommended if you are taking Vivitrol for alcohol dependence.
The FDA has only registered Vivitrol for treating alcohol dependency in patients who have already stopped drinking.
Most clinicians will only administer the medication if you can commit to abstaining from alcohol for the entirety of your treatment.
When used to treat alcohol abuse, Vivitrol injections work by cutting cravings for heavy drinking.
You should cease drinking entirely before your first injection for the best results.
How Long Is the Vivitrol Treatment Process?
Each person’s journey to sobriety is different. There’s no set period of time that must elapse for Vivitrol treatment to assist in curbing substance use disorder.
Reaching long-term freedom from cravings depends on a host of factors, including each patient’s physical and mental health as well as previous alcohol or opioid consumption levels.
Due to the slow-release nature of the injections, the amount of time Vivitrol remains active is contingent upon how quickly each individual’s body processes the drug. Factors such as gender, weight, age, metabolism, and medical history alter how quickly Naltrexone leaves the system.
On average, Vivitrol helps suppress alcohol and opioid cravings for about a month. Doctors specializing in treating substance use disorder typically recommend administering Vivitrol doses roughly every four weeks for as long as needed.
The duration of Vivitrol treatment depends on your progress in recovery, as well as the persistence and intensity of your cravings.
When combined with behavioral treatment, such as intensive therapy, most patients can eventually reach a point where they no longer need Vivitrol to suppress cravings.
Although the end goal is to no longer rely on Vivitrol to keep alcohol or opioid cravings at bay, injections should not cease until your treatment team is confident that you have a stable support system and healthy coping mechanisms in place.
Our Vivitrol Treatment Approach
Vivitrol’s ability to mitigate substance use disorders is most effective when part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Detoxing from alcohol or opiates typically only leads to successful recovery from addiction when combined with efforts to reduce cravings and prevent relapses in the long term.
With this in mind, our approach to recovery is one of holistic healing and support. At the Master Center for Addiction Medicine, we provide intensive treatment plans tailored specifically to the needs of each patient.
We also recognize that the rate of recovery is higher with support systems in place, which is why we work to set up recovery communities for each patient before administering treatment. Group therapy and one-on-one counseling are strongly encouraged throughout the program, as is active involvement from family, friends, and recovery coaches.
Our alcohol and opiate use treatment plans consider both the physical and emotional obstacles to long-term abstinence. A caring team of clinicians — many of them also in recovery — helps plan each individual’s journey to freedom from substance use disorder.
The Time for Recovery Is Now
Despite a person’s best efforts, persistent and uncontrollable cravings for alcohol or opiates can hold patients back from their long-term recovery goals — like leading a drug and alcohol-free life.
If this sounds familiar and you’re eager for a sustainable change, Vivitrol could be an excellent part of the solution. With its ability to directly tackle cravings, the long-term sobriety you’ve been striving for could finally be within reach.
Contact Master Center for Addiction Medicine for more information about a treatment plan for addiction.
Our Hampton, VA clinicians offer a compassionate, holistic approach to managing substance use disorder.
Vivitrol might help rid yourself of chemically-induced cravings that sabotaged your recovery in the past — for good.