Vivitrol is a long acting intramuscular form of a drug called Naltrexone. Naltrexone is an opiate receptor blocker. When a person has naltrexone in their system the receptors that bind to opiates like heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, dilaudid, and methadone are blocked so the person cannot feel their effects. The patient can’t get high on opiates. Additionally, when a patient has naltrexone in their system they have less craving, not only for opiates but for alcohol as well. Naltexone seems to be very effective in preventing relapse for alcoholism and heroin abuse.
The shot lasts for approximately 28 days so patients receive the injection once monthly. Vivitrol can be a great alternative to substitute opiates such as suboxone, subutex, or methadone. This medication allows the brain chemistry to heal and normalize naturally because it’s not stimulated by opiate drugs.
A 2011 study among 250 patients found that 90 percent of patients stayed off opiates. A study presented to the American Psychiatric Association found that those treated with Naltrexone have significantly lower rates of relapse. The FDA’s director of drug evaluation and research, Dr. Janet Woodcock, concludes that it is a ” significant advancement in addiction treatment. ”
The U.S Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration puts it simply: ” Nalrexone blocks opioids from acting on the brain, so it takes away the reward of getting high…”
Please contact our clinic to learn more about how this medication can help you or your loved one in recovery.