According to Harvard, more than 100,000 Americans are taking Methadone as a treatment for opiate addiction. This number reflects addicts that are not able or do not want to stop taking opiates. Instead of fully detoxing, physicians manage their dependence on opiates through a more controllable prescription.
Vivitrol Injection to Combat Opiate Addiction
Vivitrol is an injectable solution containing the drug Naltrexone. This drug blocks other opiate from effecting the receptors in the brain. By blocking those effects, Naltrexone curbs cravings and eliminates euphoria. This helps prevent relapse. It is not for everyone, so make sure to talk to your physician and therapy team before you think about going in that direction for your addiction treatment.
Vivitrol is not meant to be a solo therapy. Physicians who prescribe Vivitrol will also prescribe group therapy, a 12-Step Program, and private counseling.
Advantages of Vivitrol to Combat Opiate Addiction
Traditional medical intervention for opiate addiction included prescribing Methadone or Buprenorphine, synthetic opioids. These drugs are just as addictive as their natural counterparts, opiates, but are managed by a medical facility. Patients are required to visit a clinic daily to get their dose. This is not an easy task for those trying to rebuild their lives after the ravages of substance abuse.
Vivitrol is a monthly injection that takes effect within two days of administration. It lasts for 30 days drastically reducing the number of clinic visits.
Vivitrol manages drug cravings so the recovering addict can resume a normal life faster. One study showed 86% of heroin addicts who took Vivitrol were able to resume normal activities after six months of treatment.
Disadvantaged of Vivitrol to Combat Opiate Addiction
Vivitrol cannot be used on an outpatient basis if the person is still detoxing or experiencing withdrawal symptoms. If the overseeing physician prescribes Vivitrol while the patient is detoxing, the patient will need to be hospitalized for monitoring as severe sudden detox may occur.
Vivitrol has a list of side effects that need to be considered before receiving the injections.
Common Side Effect:
- Cold symptoms
- Decreased appetite
- Muscle cramps
- Painful joints
Vivitrol may help combat opiate addiction but it’s still a dangerous drug. More severe side effects include depression, suicidal thoughts, allergic pneumonia, and serious allergic reactions.
Some patients report severe reactions to the injection. If after receiving the injection to combat opiate addiction the following reactions occur, contact the prescribing physician. If the reactions occur after office hours, report to the emergency room of the local hospital.
Injection Site Reactions:
- Skin tissue dies around injection site.
- Intense pain at injection site.
- Swelling, lumps, or blisters at injection site.
- Dark scabs over the injection site.
- Open wound develops at injection site.
Signs of Relapse Are Critical While Using Vivitrol
When a recovering addict has been in recovery for a long time, others may not see the signs of a pending relapse. Missing 12-Step meetings, sponsor meetings, and doctor appointments are critical indicators that a relapse may happen.
Slips are a natural part of the addiction cycle, but a slip while on Vivitrol may cost the recovering addict his life. If a recovering addict uses opiates and opioids while on Vivitrol it may result in accidental overdose, injury, coma, and death. Tolerance levels are diminished on Vivitrol, so any use of opiates can result in death.
Those who have remained sober for five years are likely to stay sober and are good candidates for Vivitrol treatment. Those who are sober for two years have a 40% rate of staying sober. These recovering addicts need to be monitored closely if Vivitrol is prescribed to combat opiate addiction.
Informed Decision on Vivitrol Use
The decision to use another drug to combat opiate addiction requires caution. Discuss the options with your physician. If you are looking for a recovery facility that supports Vivitrol use for combating opiate addiction, contact Northlake Recovery at (561)-770-6616.