What is Vivitrol?
Vivitrol is a form of naltrexone, a medication that blocks the release of dopamine while attached to opioid receptors—meaning that if a person in recovery relapses during that time, they will not experience the sense of euphoria which opiates would normally provide. A non-addictive, non-narcotic medication, when used as professionally advised at a medically licensed behavioral health facility such as Soul Surgery, Vivitrol can be a safe and effective treatment during the drug rehabilitation process.
Vivitrol is a monthly shot that works for the entire month, helping to prevent relapse while allowing patients to remain active in their daily lives. Vivitrol allows those in recovery the ability to better focus on the other aspects of their treatment, such as the individualized Professional Counseling, Psychoeducational group work, the Twelve-step method, BioFeedback, Craniosacral Therapy, and a plethora of other services offered by Soul Surgery as part of their fully licensed Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP), Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP) and Outpatient Programs (OP).
At Soul Surgery, Vivitrol can be administered monthly as an intramuscular solution (taken as a shot) by a professionally licensed healthcare provider.
A comprehensive drug rehabilitation program is key. Like all medication-assisted treatment plans offered by Soul Surgery, Vivitrol is administered in conjunction with Soul Surgery’s strong program of medical and therapeutic services. In fact, Soul Surgery’s inclusive approach is known throughout the country as a more holistic, and therefore more effective, approach than that of many other, simpler recovery programs.
Other Medication-Assisted Treatment Options at Rehab in Arizona
Vivitrol is but one medication path a patient in recovery may find to be a good fit at Soul Surgery. Unlike other medication-assisted treatments such as buprenorphine or methadone, naltrexone medications like Vivitrol do not give its users a “high,” therefore, one of the perks of Vivitrol is that it reduces cravings, which results in a greatly decreased risk of abuse. But of course, each person in recovery has different requirements and preferences. At Soul Surgery, each patient’s medical team is devoted to professionally addressing the specific medical and emotional needs of each patient and developing an individualized plan amenable to all involved in the rehabilitation process.
Vivitrol is more than a treatment for opioids. Vivitrol can be used to treat both opioid and alcohol dependence. In fact, in 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Vivitrol for use for patients recovering from alcohol dependency. Vivitrol also works differently than other treatments for alcohol abuse: unlike a medication like disulfiram—which makes its users sick if they drink alcohol while on the drug—naltrexone medications minimize cravings less abrasively to help prevent alcohol relapse.
Though every rehabilitation patient has different needs that must be assessed by a physician who is trained in substance use, such as those on Soul Surgery’s medical team, clinical studies show evidence of Vivitrol’s effectiveness for many people in recovery. According to a randomized six month, placebo-controlled, double-blind study, patients taking Vivitrol in conjunction with counseling showed a twenty-five percent greater reduction in days where they drank heavily (“heavy drinking” being defined as five or more drinks in one day for men, or four or more drinks in one day for women), as opposed to those treated with a placebo and counseling. Soul Surgery Addiction and Mental Health Center is dedicated to reducing those “heavy drinking” days even further.
Revia is another naltrexone-based medication-assisted treatment available at Soul Surgery. Revia is similar to Vivitrol in that it acts as an opioid antagonist, blocking the euphoric effects of alcohol and other narcotics. The goal of both medications is to mitigate the desire to pick up that drink or needle. However, the administration is different, and this is important. Unlike Vivitrol, which is injected every three weeks or so by a physician, Revia is administered as an oral tablet, taken with food and water to decrease the risk of an upset stomach. This infers that the patient in recovery, the patient who may very likely still have strong cravings for his DOC (drug of choice), is the very person responsible for taking his Revia pill every day. Therefore, whether the correct protocol is Vivitrol or Revia, studies suggest that the safest, most effective, and most successful method of administration is from that of a licensed physician at a behavioral health facility devoted to the treatment of substance use, such as Soul Surgery
Vivitrol was approved by the FDA in 2010, and in the last decade, numerous studies have verified it effectiveness in many patients. However, to increase a patient’s recovery from alcohol or substance abuse, Vivitrol should be administered in conjunction with an intensive evidence-based treatment drug rehabilitation program such as that offered at Soul Surgery Addiction and Mental Health Center in Scottsdale, Arizona.