Many addiction experts believe that Vivitrol is the safest form of medication assisted treatment (MAT) on the market. [NT1] MAT has been proven to be highly effective, and this drug is no exception.
Your first step should be to contact a facility and obtain an assessment.
Once you begin your opiate or alcohol rehab, you will need to go through the detox process. Detoxing is important because it will remove those toxins from your body. People who have been using opioid drugs can initiate Vivitrol therapy after 7-14 days; initiating before this time could intensify withdrawal symptoms. While you're in alcohol detox or opioid detox, your symptoms can be controlled with other medications.
After the detoxification period, your doctor will determine if Vivitrol is right for you. Your doctor may start you on oral Naltrexone first to make sure you tolerate the medication. If tolerated well, Vivitrol therapy may begin.
While you're taking Vivitrol, counseling is critical for your success. You should be participating in support groups (preferably 12 Step groups) and individual counseling. This will ensure that you're taking the right steps to heal from your addiction.
You will need to take Vivitrol as an injection once every 28 days. If you miss a dose, you might see your cravings return; especially in the early recovery. This is an extended release medication. That means it's designed to work in your body all month long.
The length of your Vivitrol treatment is going to vary from person to person. It is used short term in early recovery, usually between 9-12 months. Your counselor and doctor will determine your appropriate timeframe for Vivitrol therapy.
During the first year of recovery, mental, emotional and even brain chemistry changes take place. Vivitrol is designed to work alongside your drug recovery program to reduce cravings and prevent relapse. Unlike other forms of MAT, Vivitrol does not cause dependence or withdrawal symptoms once you stop using it. If relapse occurs, you can resume therapy almost immediately.
We hear this question from patients pretty frequently: Why is Vivitrol so expensive?
Fortunately, Alkermes, the company that makes Vivitrol, does offer a savings program. This is something that you should look into if you don't currently have insurance. It may also help you if you haven't yet reached your health insurance deductible. Our staff work tireless to ensure that Vivitrol is an option for any patient who is interested- we handle to paperwork so you don't have to!
Your insurance may cover the entire cost of your Vivitrol injections if you have met your deductible. You should talk with them about this as soon as possible. Also, if you currently have Medicaid insurance, you may be in luck.
Medicaid has started to cover the cost of Vivitrol injections in many different states. Once you inquire about treatment, you'll have your insurance verified. This will help you to know and understand what your benefits are. The good news is that having any type of insurance probably means very little coming out of your pocket.
Vivitrol (extended-release Naltrexone) is a medication that was designed to help people stop using opiates and stop drinking. It has been instrumental in the lives so many people over the last few years.
For those with addictions, quitting is very difficult. Even with a lot of willpower, it's almost impossible to stop using without some type of support. You'll find that Vivitrol helps in a few different ways. It will reduce your cravings to drink or use opiate drugs. It will also result in not allowing you to feel the effects of opioids if you do take them.
When withdrawal is under control, you can move forward with your life. It makes it much easier for you to concentrate on truly healing.
You may find it very helpful to know how Vivitrol works. Naltrexone is a drug that is categorized as an antagonist. This type of drug will attach to opioid receptors in the body. However, in doing so, they will not trigger the release of dopamine. This reaction is exactly the opposite of what happens to those who are addicted to heroin or other opiates.
For opioid addicts, Vivitrol creates a barrier that will block the opioid molecules from attaching to the receptors. This helps to calm cravings and prevent euphorigenic feelings (“the high”) of opiates. Unlike Suboxone or Methadone, Vivitrol does not cause dependence and does not require a taper if you stop taking it.
For people with alcoholism, research shows that this medication works the same way. By blocking opioid receptors in the body, the cravings for alcohol will be significantly decreased. For both types of addictions, the result is a better ability to concentrate during counseling sessions and in rehab.
Many insurance companies will cover 100% of the cost of outpatient treatment. Call today and find out if your plan qualifies. We can also help with financing. (208) 906-0782
You most likely won't have all of the side effects listed here, and generally side effects improve after the first injection. It's important to bring any side effects to the attention of your doctor, even if you consider them minor. Your doctor needs to know how this medication is affecting you.
There are other, less common side effects that can be caused by Naltrexone. According to the FDA, it's possible to:
Again, these side effects are very rare. You should discuss any medical conditions with your doctor. Together, you'll decide if this medication is right for you.
Most people discover that any side effects they experience are short-lived. They are usually your body's way of adjusting to the introduction to something new. Within a few weeks, you should see most of the above start to go away as you get used to it.
If you do have a few lingering side effects, again, talk with your doctor. Most people decide that the effects of Vivitrol are not outweighed by the benefits of it.
Although Naltrexone has been around since 1970s, you might not be as familiar with it as you are with drugs like Suboxone, Buprenorphine or Methadone. These medications have been used to treat opioid dependence for many years. This is called opioid replacement therapy (ORT).
The problem with ORT is the fact that there is a risk of addiction. Many physicians prefer Vivitrol for this reason. With Vivitrol, there is no risk of developing a secondary addiction to the medication- it is not habit forming and therefore you cannot get addicted to it.
When it comes to Suboxone vs. Vivitrol, their effectiveness is about the same. However, Vivitrol does offer a lot more benefits. There's no need to remember to take a pill every day, and there is no risk of addiction. You will not go into withdrawal if you miss a dose, like you would if you missed a dose of Suboxone. You also do not need to see a doctor with a certain license or waiver like with Suboxone- any medical provider can prescribe extended-release Naltrexone, or Vivitrol. This is usually enough for people to see the value in using Vivitrol.
People often want to know what can happen to them if they drink or use opiates while on Vivitrol. It's important for you to know about the potential outcome if you relapse.
If you drink alcohol while taking Vivitrol, you won't feel any ill effects. It's not a drug that will make you feel sick if you drink while using it. Also, you may notice that you are still able to feel “drunk”. Vivitrol is not going to block the effects of alcohol on your body, but it will make alcohol much less appealing since the pleasurable feelings you may have once experienced with alcohol are no longer there.
Still, this does not mean that you should feel free to drink without any consequences. Alcohol use does have its own risks, and you may return to active alcoholism if you relapse and do not continue Vivitrol therapy.
If you use opioids while taking Vivitrol, there are many more risks. Because this medication works by blocking your opioid receptors, you won't feel high. For a lot of people, they view this as a challenge, so they'll take higher doses of their opiate drugs.
***Doing this is dangerous. You could inadvertently take too high a dose and end up overdosing. It's important for you to remember why you started taking Vivitrol. It's best to allow the medicine to do its job in your body. [NT4] ****
For people with alcoholism and opioid addiction, every day is a continual struggle. They often feel as though there's no way out from their substance abuse problems. Vivitrol is proving that there is a way to recover successfully. Perhaps you've failed with other methods, or maybe this is the first time you've thought about treatment. In either case, it's worth it to find out if Vivitrol may work for you. Many of our patients have tried everything, including multiple attempts at treatment, and have incredible success just by adding Vivitrol to their treatment program.
Maybe you feel as though you'd like to start taking Vivitrol as soon as you can. If you do, we want to commend you. You've chosen an excellent form of treatment, and we want to do everything we can to help you.
At Ashwood Recovery, we've seen the benefits of Vivitrol first-hand in our clients. It's been a pleasure to watch many patients improve how they feel because of this medication, and how many of them get and stay sober! We'd love nothing more than to talk with you about how it might help you too.
Do you have more questions about Vivitrol and how it can help you recover? Please contact us today so we can answer them. We will also offer you guidance to help you get started with treatment.
Schedule a Free Addiction Assessment with one of our counselors. No obligation. 100% confidential.