How It Works and Is It Safe?
Vivitrol, a prescription medication that contains naltrexone, is an opioid-antagonist that has been utilized in medication assisted treatment programs since it received approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1984. This medication is given by a single monthly injection. Today, Vivitrol is used in centers that treat both alcoholism and opioid addiction.
If Vivitrol is taken as directed and under supervision of a professional in a medication assisted treatment program, it can be greatly beneficial and is safe. While Vivitrol has been used in both short-term and long-term treatment, it is important to note that it can increase the risk of liver damage. Therefore, prior to using it, an individual must complete a full physical exam and keep in direct touch with his or her prescribing physician should any issues arise.
Vivitrol is not approved for use by pregnant women and is also not safe for use in individuals who have used opioids in the past week.
Like many other medications, Vivitrol can cause side effects. By speaking with a prescribing physician, individuals can learn how to safely take their medication and understand what side effects to look for. From there, it can be decided if this medication is appropriate for the individual.
The Effectiveness of Vivitrol Treatment
There have been numerous studies conducted to test the effectiveness of Vivitrol. A recent study determined that individuals who received Vivitrol experienced an astounding average of 99.2% more opioid-free days. In addition, cravings were decreased by 10 times than those who did not receive Vivitrol.
Another study reported that the majority of individuals who were prescribed Vivitrol during their recovery were successful in their sobriety for the year following the study. Also, 50% of the individuals were able to stay sober, there were no reported side effects at the injection site, and reduced cravings, lower opioid use, and improvement of every day life were reported.
Benefits of Vivitrol Treatment Plus Counseling
Vivitrol works best when combined with an overall treatment plan that includes therapeutic means. At Central Virginia Comprehensive Treatment Centers, individuals will also be offered individual and group therapy sessions that will help provide support and encouragement during this period of recovery. When it comes to friends and family of someone who is obtaining Vivitrol treatment, as well as the individual himself/herself, it can be highly beneficial to understand the following:
How You Can Be Successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program
It is critical to comprehend that treatment is only one portion of your overall care. Achieving sobriety is a long-term effort, and it will require that you put your health and recovery above everything else. Changes need to be made in order to obtain that recovery. The people that you will be working alongside of are devoted to your wellbeing and are here to help you achieve each and every goal you have. It is your responsibility to be honest with yourself, understand the poor decisions you might have made, and be ready to make positive changes. Obtain a determined mindset prior to entering into treatment so that all of your efforts will be worthwhile. While the path to recovery might be bumpy, your health is worth the ride.
How to Support Your Loved One During Medication Assisted Treatment
Watching your loved one battle with an opioid addiction is both sad and upsetting, and can ultimately break your heart. Understand that every ounce of support you have tried to provide to your loved one has not fallen on deaf ears. In fact, the support you have provided has likely contributed to his or her desire to get clean. Your continued support can help your loved one be successful in his or her treatment, which is why it is important that you educate yourself on this type of treatment. Prepare for the changes that your loved one will go through, and be ready to support him or her. Get involved in a support group or a therapy program. Recognize that your life has been affected by your loved one’s addiction and that it is perfectly acceptable for you to reach out and address any physical, mental or emotional issues you are experiencing. Your loved one’s treatment center might be helpful in guiding you towards the right resources to do this.
The Side Effects of Vivitrol
Some of the potential side effects of Vivitrol use can include:
- Decreased appetite
- Muscle cramps
- Dental pain
- Liver damage
- Pain, swelling or scabbing near injection site
- Shortness of breath and associated respiratory problems
- Runny nose and watery eyes
For more information about the side effects of Vivitrol and how you might be affected by using it, contact Central Virginia Comprehensive Treatment Centers for more information.