How Does Vivitrol Help with Opioid Treatment?
The decision to combat addiction by seeking opioid treatment is crucial. Due to the ongoing opioid epidemic, approximately 128 overdose fatalities are reported daily. As highly addictive and potent substances, opioid abuse is fairly common throughout the population, as many are introduced to prescription narcotics post-surgery or to treat an injury. Common opioids include oxycodone, fentanyl, and heroin, among others. As depressants, opioids actively diminish organ functioning, specifically the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, which is a leading cause of overdose fatality. Fortunately, advances in addiction treatment have produced various medicines proven to support opioid abstinence, one of which is Vivitrol.
What is Vivitrol?
Vivitrol is a medication used to block the effects of opioid ingestion, reduce cravings, and prevent relapse. As an opioid antagonist, Vivitrol binds to the brain’s opioid receptors thereby blocking effects of subsequent opioid use such as euphoria and pain relief. Vivitrol is most commonly injected into the muscle once per month, with the receptor blockage lasting approximately 28 days. Occasionally referred to by its generic name, naltrexone, Vivitrol is the only opioid addiction medication that is not considered a controlled substance and is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of opioid dependence.
Vivitrol For Opioid Treatment
Before Vivitrol treatment begins, it is important that the individual successfully completes detox. Detox is the initial stage of recovery that works by depleting the body of all traces of the addictive substance. Opioid withdrawal symptoms are intensely uncomfortable and possibly dangerous. These dangers mean that the user probably requires medical supervision while detoxing. These facilities provide proper medical supervision and assure that the individual is comfortable and safe during the detox process. If a caregiver administers Vivitrol before the end of detox, adverse reactions such as intense withdrawal symptoms, coma, and death can occur.
Among Medication-Assisted Treatments, Vivitrol is a low maintenance option as it requires only one shot per month; however, due to this simplicity, Vivitrol is one of the more expensive treatment options. Unlike similar addiction medications, such as Methadone or Suboxone, Vivitrol is non-habit forming and has no withdrawal symptoms. This medication does, however, have a few minor side effects. These side effects include:
- Muscle and joint pain
Ongoing Vivitrol Treatment
Typically used to assist in the initial phases of treatment, Vivitrol administration can be continued as long as the supervising physician sees it as necessary. Injections can usually be stopped once the individual’s opioid cravings have ceased. It is important to note that Vivitrol is only one single component within the addiction treatment process as a whole. Professional addiction centers are a highly recommended next step. These facilities often provide both inpatient rehabilitation and outpatient rehabilitation. Depending on the individual’s unique circumstances, they would have the ability to choose the best treatment scenario to suit their situation.
There are many benefits to entering an addiction treatment center. Once begun, an individual will feel a sense of solidarity alongside their peers and mutual accountability will be formed. These facilities also offer necessary therapies such as individual therapy, family therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and group therapy, among others. These therapies successfully assist in locating the root source of addiction and help an individual develop healthy coping strategies to be used post-treatment. Clinical supervision is also typically provided to assess and treat co-occurring disorders which are extremely common in those struggling with addiction.
Vivitrol Shot vs Vivitrol Pills
Vivitrol is the brand name for the injectable version of naltrexone, while Depade and Revia are brand names for naltrexone in pill form. The most common usage for Depade or ReVia is to take one pill orally per day under medical supervision, however, the prescribing physician may increase the dosage and schedule the medication to be taken every 2 to 3 days as to easily facilitate these supervised clinical visits. Both the injection and pill carry the same potential side effects which are headache, diarrhea, nausea, joint pain, fatigue and restlessness. Like the injection, naltrexone pills should only be taken after the successful completion of detox to avoid serious health risks such as intense opioid withdrawal symptoms, coma, or death.
Without insurance, Vivitrol costs approximately $1,000 per injection whereas Depade and Revia cost approximately $118 for a 30-day supply. Although most insurances will cover a partial amount, Vivitrol is the more expensive option. However, studies have shown that individuals receiving Vivitrol injections have higher rates of abstinence and recovery due to the easy maintenance of receiving once-monthly injections compared to a daily, or semi-daily, oral pill. The decision ultimately rests on what the individual receiving treatment is comfortable with and what the supervising clinician deems necessary.
Why Seeking Opioid Treatment is Necessary
The opioid epidemic shows no signs of slowing down as it continues to affect communities
across the nation. All opioid drugs are highly addictive. They are also extremely potent. This combination makes professional help a necessity if dependence starts to form. Due to the potency and highly addictive nature of opioids, receiving professional help is extremely important if it is feared that an addiction has begun to develop. Attempting to cease use independently is often ineffective but also increases the likelihood of relapse and overdose. Because withdrawal symptoms are intense and uncomfortable, especially with opioids, medically supervised detox is a highly suggested first step.
Eventually, the process rids the body of all traces of opioids. Once this happens, physicians can prescribe drugs like Vivitrol. This will help reduce cravings and give the patient a greater chance for recovery. If the physicians deems it necessary, the they can continue to use Vivitrol throughout the treatment process. These programs provide many beneficial services. These services include things like:
- Behavioral Therapy
- Treatment of Co-occurring Disorders
- Positive, encouraging environment
- The presence of understand professionals and peers
Let Us Help You
We understand the obstacles you face in overcoming opioid addiction. In comparison with other substances of abuse, opioids are among the most addictive. Additionally, they are one of the most dangerous when left untreated. Fortunately, due to advances in addiction treatment, there are various forms of opioid treatment available to assist on the road to recovery. If you feel that you or a loved one is struggling with an opioid addiction, we are here to help. We will gladly answer any and all questions you may have regarding addiction and treatment services. Call us today and begin the journey towards the rewarding, drug-free life you deserve.