How the Vivitrol Shot Works in Treating Opioid Dependency

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Over the past twenty years, no drug has seen a higher increase in overdose deaths like opioids. The opioid epidemic killed 49,860 people in the year 2019 alone, with its deadly grip affecting people of all backgrounds and demographics. With its effects so far-reaching and devastating, those suffering from opioid dependency need viable treatment options as part of the solution to ending the opioid crisis. One of the popular clinical treatment options available for those recovering from opioid abuse is the Vivitrol shot.

How Vivitrol Works

To fully understand what the Vivitrol shot is, it’s best to learn about how its generic form, naltrexone, works on the brain. Naltrexone is an opioid receptor antagonist, meaning it blocks the effects of opioid receptors by attaching to the opioid receptors so drugs like opioids can’t. Naltrexone is taken orally daily and is also used to help recovering alcoholics since alcohol works on those same opioid receptors in the brain for its feel-good effects. Vivitrol works in the same way as naltrexone but is taken as a monthly, extended-release dose instead of a daily medication like naltrexone.

Vivitrol is a preventative measure for those who have suffered from opioid dependency in the past. It is not a cure for dependency but acts to reduce a user’s cravings for taking opiates. Because Vivitrol blocks the opioid receptors in the brain, if a person takes naltrexone or gets the Vivitrol shot, they would not feel the high from using opiates if they pick them up again.

Like naltrexone, Vivitrol also helps recovering alcoholics, but for both individuals in recovery for alcohol or opiate dependency, these medications are only effective once the drugs are out of their system for at least seven days. The Vivitrol shot can only be administered by a medical professional. Since its effects last a month, it reduces the risk of a patient missing a dose and jeopardizing their recovery.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Vivitrol, though by itself is a motivating factor in someone’s recovery, isn’t the sole solution for lasting recovery. It acts best as part of a Medication-Assisted Treatment Program which also incorporates behavioral therapy and support in addition to medication for appropriately addressing the many needs and aspects of a person in recovery.

For some people, including medication in their recovery treatment is the right choice. Receiving the monthly Vivitrol shot is a preventative medical treatment option for those who suffer from past opioid or alcohol abuse. If you or a loved one is struggling to get or remain sober, call Avalon Malibu. At Avalon, we offer a continuum of care, including holistic and clinical treatment options to aid our clients in healing mind, body, and soul. Under the care of our skilled and caring professionals, you can achieve balance and a beautiful sense of well-being in your life again. Call us today at (844) 857-5992.

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