Is Vivitrol Treatment Right for You or Your Loved One?

Vivitrol Treatment in Franklin

Michelle Rosenker

August 1, 2019

The opioid crisis that the United States is currently facing did not appear out of thin air. Since the 1990s, when pharma companies gave prescribers the green light to provide patients with opioid-based medications, the amount of people becoming addicted to opioids has slowly but steadily increased.

Today, not only are millions of Americans continue to abuse medications like OxyContin, Vicodin, and Percocet, but the number of heroin users has been climbing steadily in recent years.

The opioid crisis is not only a major problem for the whole United States, but one of the hardest hit areas in America is Tennessee, where more than 6 million opioid prescriptions were written out in 2018 alone. Shockingly, the population of Tennessee is only 6.77 million.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), roughly 130 people in the country die every day from opioid overdose. Other statistics from HHS include the following from 2017:

  • Out of the 70,200 people who died of drug overdoses, 47,600 were caused by opioids
  • 886,000 people used heroin while 15,482 died from a heroin overdose within that same year
  • Approximately 28,466 people overdosed on synthetic opioids in (not including methadone)
  • Two million Americans abused prescription opioids for the first time

With these statistics in mind, the HHS has put in place a five-point strategy to end the epidemic. Nearly every other state in the country, meanwhile, has developed their own measures and taken initiatives to curb the ravaging of their communities.

Plans like prescription drop-off boxes, tighter prescribing regulations, and raising awareness about the opioid crisis are effective up to a certain point. However, the most impactful strategy to use against an opioid use disorder is professional treatment. Recently, the most effective form of professional treatment as it related to opioid addiction is Medication-Assisted Treatment, or MAT. One of the medications used in MAT is Vivitrol.

Vivitrol Treatment for Opioid Addiction

Traditionally, addiction is treated in a residential or outpatient setting like JourneyPure Franklin, where clients participate in several different therapies and are prescribed medications as deemed necessary for their psychological and physical well-being. Treatment for opioid addiction looks like this, with the addition of specific medications designed to treat this specific type of substance use disorder.

The active ingredient of Vivitrol is naltrexone, an opioid antagonist. This means that when Vivitrol is consumed, it attaches to the opioid receptors in the brain and blocks the effects of opioids.

As a result, someone taking Vivitrol as part of his or her treatment will not experience as intense cravings as those of someone who is not. This is because Vivitrol is working to stop the actions of the opioid receptors, allowing someone who has just stopped abusing opioids some relief for what might otherwise be an uncomfortable experience.

Vivitrol comes as an injectable rather than a pill. Specifically, clients who are prescribed Vivitrol receive one injection each month, as the medication can work for up to 30 days. It is recommended that those who are prescribed Vivitrol remain on the medication for one year, since studies show that it is most effective when taken for at least that long.

Prior to starting on Vivitrol, it is important that a client has completely detoxed from opioids and then continue to remain opioid-free for at least seven to 10 days. This is necessary because if opioids are in the system, consuming Vivitrol can trigger the onset of withdrawal symptoms.

And while Vivitrol is similar to Suboxone in that it can help treat opioid addiction, Vivitrol is not habit-forming.

It should be kept in mind that individuals who take Vivitrol cannot rely solely on this medication to keep them sober. While it can go a long way in reducing the risk of relapse, anyone trying to recover from their opioid use disorder should utilize both medication and therapy as recommended to them by a licensed professional.

Benefits of Vivitrol Treatment in Franklin

When you receive Vivitrol treatment in Franklin, not only will you be setting yourself up for success in your own recovery, but you will also be able to reap several benefits along the way.

Because Vivitrol is designed to help manage cravings for continued opioid use, it is effective at aiding in the continued sobriety of those in recovery. While relapse is a normal part of recovery, experiencing relapse can be devastating. Now, with the added “safety net” of Vivitrol, however, relapses has proven to be less likely.

Additional benefits from Vivitrol treatment in Franklin include the following:

  • Stronger focus on school, work, or home-related duties
  • Less of a likelihood for relapse
  • Greater chance of maintaining long-term recovery
  • Reduction of cravings that could serve as tipping points to use again
  • Increased ease of obtaining the medication, as it only needs to be taken once a month rather than daily

When you put forth your best effort in you therapy and in your maintenance of Vivitrol, you can build a life for yourself that is free from opioid abuse.


Risks of Vivitrol

A 2017 study sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) compared the effectiveness of buprenorphine and naltrexone, the active ingredient in Vivitrol. While naltrexone was found to be equally as effective as buprenorphine, once treatment begins, starting a naltrexone regimen is more complicated because it requires a longer detox period—as much as one week, in some cases. That much time can mean the difference between a successful recovery and relapse.

Vivitrol isn’t right for everyone living with addiction. There are risks from the treatment, especially as it related to opioid addiction recovery, including the risk of opioid overdose and sudden opioid withdrawal. Other risks include possibly severe reactions at the point of injection, such as scabbing, swelling, or intense pain.

Another risk of using Vivitrol is liver damage or hepatitis. Naltrexone, the active ingredient in Vivitrol, has been shown to cause this sort of damage, with symptoms like stomach pain, dark urine, and exhaustion.

Anyone who receives a Vivitrol injection must for up to 14 days not use any type of opioid, including:

  • street drugs like heroin
  • prescription painkillers
  • cough, cold, or diarrhea medicines that contain opioids
  • other opioid dependence treatments like methadone or buprenorphine.

Otherwise, the Vivitrol injection could cause the patient to experience symptoms of opioid withdrawal so intense that a hospital visit is required.

Call Right Now to Get Vivitrol Treatment in Franklin

Even the most confident and ambitious people can succumb to opioid addiction, as it takes very little to become addicted. However, when opioid addiction is allowed to continue, the risks multiply and the chance for suffering a fatal overdose becomes likelier.

You don’t have to live this way.

Do not allow one more day to go by. If you contine using, you  risk your life each time. Put a stop to that and contact us for Vivitrol treatment in Franklin. We can help.