How Does Vivitrol Help Treat Addiction?

vivitrol addiction treatment in Delray Beach

How Does Vivitrol Help Treat Addiction?

Vivitrol is a once-monthly injection of naltrexone, a medication that is used to treat alcoholism and opioid dependence. Naltrexone is not an opioid, so unlike other medications used in medication-assisted treatment, like Suboxone, Vivitrol is not addictive. It must also be administered by a medical professional so there is virtually no risk for abuse. If you or someone you love are struggling with opioid or alcohol addiction, Vivitrol treatment in Delray Beach, FL may be right for you.

What is Vivitrol and How Does it Work?



Vivitrol is an extended-release formulation of naltrexone that serves as an opioid antagonist or opioid-blocking medication.[1] As such, it creates a barrier in the brain that stops opioid molecules from attaching to opioid receptors and producing a high. If a person does use opioids while on Vivitrol, it will not produce the dopamine boost that creates the addictive euphoria associated with opioid abuse. Naltrexone drug is known to help prevent opioid and alcohol cravings as well as reduce the risk of relapse.

After a person has detoxed, they may begin their Vivitrol treatment. Vivitrol must always be administered by a medical professional. The medication comes in the form of an intramuscular injection that is given in the buttocks once a month. The typical dose is 380 mg which will act as an extended dose that is active for up to 4 weeks.

The most common side effect of Vivitrol is swelling, redness, and irritation at the injection site. These symptoms will typically subside after a few days. Other common side effects include:[2]

Common symptoms of vivitrol

Studies conducted on the efficacy of Vivitrol found that there were 94% fewer relapses among people taking Vivitrol for dependence as well as significantly reduced cravings in people struggling with opioid cravings.[1] That being said, individuals must complete detox before they can begin taking Vivitrol. If individuals still have traces of alcohol or opioids in their system when they begin taking Vivitrol, they will experience withdrawal symptoms that make staying sober that much more difficult.

How is Vivitrol Used in Addiction Treatment?

Vivitrol injection icon

Vivitrol is used in addition to traditional behavioral therapies that are used at most addiction treatment centers in Delray Beach. Since the medication reduces drug and alcohol cravings, it can help prevent relapse in people who are actively participating in their recovery. This means any medications used for substance use disorder should be used in combination with a comprehensive treatment program.

Cravings can be powerful, and even though they are mere thoughts, cravings often lead people to relapse. By eliminating cravings, Vivitrol can help people focus more on their therapy and recovery rather than thoughts of substance use. However, Vivitrol alone is not a cure for addiction or alcoholism. The most important parts of addiction treatment are behavioral therapy and peer support. Therapy and support groups teach individuals how to live sober without the use of drugs, alcohol, or replacement medications.

What Can I Expect from Vivitrol Treatment in Delray Beach?

While Suboxone is not permitted at Florida Recovery Group, Vivitrol is part of our addiction treatment program in Delray Beach, FL. Before patients can begin taking Vivitrol, they must complete detox. If naltrexone is taken too soon, it can make people experience withdrawal symptoms. As a result, individuals must be sober for 7-14 days before beginning Vivitrol treatment.

After detox, you may get your first Vivitrol shot if you and your doctor agree on using naltrexone in your treatment plan. While taking the medication, patients may participate in PHP, IOP, or OP depending on the level of care they need. These programs will consist of group and individual therapy sessions as well as different types of therapy, such as:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Trauma therapy
  • Holistic healing methods
  • Psychodynamic therapy
  • Dual diagnosis treatment
  • Motivational interviewing (MI)
  • 12-Step facilitation

We also encourage patients to join a support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) so they have ongoing support for their recovery.

Throughout your course of Vivitrol treatment, our addiction specialists in Delray Beach will support you every step of the way. You will also have regular check-ups with your doctor to evaluate your progress and any side effects you may be experiencing.

Find Out if Vivitrol Treatment is Right For You

There are many different types of medications used to treat drug and alcohol addiction and Vivitrol isn’t right for everyone. At Florida Recovery Group, we’re dedicated to helping you find the right combination of medication, therapy, and peer support so you can stay sober, happy, and healthy. If you or a loved one would like to learn more about our Vivitrol treatment program in Delray Beach, pick up the phone and contact us today.