Opioid addiction is an epidemic that affects millions of Americans each year. In the US, drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death, and opioid addiction plays a big part in this staggering statistic. In 2015 alone, over 30,000 people overdosed on prescription painkillers or heroin.
Addiction is a complex disease that affects not only the person addicted, but their support system of friends, family, and loved ones as well. Overcoming opioid addiction is possible! There are a few treatment options for opioid dependence. Medication assisted treatment (MAT), the combination of counseling or behavioral therapy with the use of specialized, specific addiction medication, is one of the safest and most effective ways to recover from addictive substance use.
If you or a loved one is ready to choose recovery over addiction, we can help you understand what to expect from medication assisted treatment. In this blog, we’ll cover Vivitrol, one of the options available with MAT that is offered via our counseling centers.
What is Vivitrol?
Vivitrol is a prescription medication that helps to prevent relapse after detox by significantly reducing cravings. It can be used when treating opioid dependence and alcohol addiction. It is a once-monthly injectable, non-addictive medicine that is used in conjunction with counseling and behavioral therapy to treat addiction and reinforce recovery.
How does Vivitrol work?
Vivitrol is an “antagonist” or “blocking medication.” This means that Vivitrol attaches to opioid receptors in the brain and stops opioid molecules from attaching to them. Vivitrol doesn’t release dopamine - a neurotransmitter associated with the brain’s pleasure center - making it non-addictive. This way, patients in treatment can focus on therapy rather than trying to cope with symptoms of withdrawal.
Before starting MAT with Vivitrol, you must be opioid free for 7-10 days and should stop consuming alcohol. Because withdrawal is difficult and sometimes dangerous, it’s important to never attempt withdrawal alone. Contact a counseling center that can help you find the help you need and assure your recovery is happening safely.
Who should receive Vivitrol treatment?
Vivitrol is used to treat opioid dependence and alcohol addiction. Your doctor or psychiatrist will assess your individual situation to decide if Vivitrol is the right option for you. Taking Vivitrol is not without risk, although Vivitrol has potential side-effects similar to most prescription medications on the market and is well-tolerated by most individuals. If you are not ready to stop using opioids, such as heroin and prescription painkillers, you should work with your doctor or psychiatrist to create a plan specific to your needs.
Medication assisted treatment with Vivitrol is available via our counseling centers. If you are ready to choose recovery over addiction, contact us. We have counseling centers in Kissimmee, St. Cloud, and Longwood, Florida that offer medication assisted treatment. We also offer medication assisted treatment at our counseling center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. We can help you understand your treatment options and help you get your life back on track.