Vivitrol (Naltrexone) is an opioid antagonist. Vivitrol is the extended-release formula of Naltrexone and blocks the effects of opiate medication. When it is given, it binds to the opioid receptors in the brain for up to one month of duration. Vivitrol is used to help prevent relapse in people who have become dependent on opioids, or people who have been diagnosed with opioid use disorder. Vivitrol is currently the only approved medication for opioid dependence that is not a controlled substance.
Vivitrol Makes Getting High on Opiates Very Difficult
Vivitrol is also used for those with alcohol dependence. This medication is effective at reducing cravings for opioids as well as helping heavy drinkers reduce their alcohol intake. Individuals who decide that Vivitrol is the right treatment for them must be completely detoxed before starting the medication. If a person has any opiates in their system when they start Vivitrol, it will cause them to have severe opiate withdrawal symptoms. According to the National Library of Medicine:
Vivitrol is an extended-release injectable formulation of naltrexone, administered as an intramuscular injection once a month. Naltrexone is an opioid-receptor antagonist that blocks the euphoric effects of opioids. Unlike other treatments for opioid use disorder, including buprenorphine/naloxone and methadone, naltrexone is not associated with the development of tolerance and dependence and lacks the potential for misuse and diversion. However, because the oral formulation requires a daily dosage, poor adherence to the medication has limited its efficacy for the prevention of relapse in patients with opioid use disorder. The extended-release injectable formulation of naltrexone was developed to improve treatment adherence and retention. (NLM)
Studies have shown that 36% of individuals that received the Vivitrol shot were more likely to maintain sobriety 6 months out from treatment than 23% of those who received the placebo.
What Happens if Opiates Are Used While on Vivitrol?
Taking opiates while on Vivitrol is dangerous and can be life-threatening. Someone that uses opiates while on Vivitrol is at high risk of an overdose. Since Vivitrol blocks the effects of opiates by occupying the opioid receptors, someone that tries to take opiates on top of the medication may try to take higher doses of opiates so that they can feel the effects of the drug. Even though they cannot feel the effects of the opiates, doesn’t mean they cannot still overdose. To get high, the individual may consume toxic levels of opiates. Vivitrol can also decrease a person’s tolerance to opiates, and they may not be aware of this. If they relapse and try to consume the same amount of opiates as they did before detoxing, they could end up overdosing due to their increased sensitivity to the drug. Just like any other form of medication-assisted treatment (MAT), Vivitrol has to be used in conjunction with counseling and therapy. This medication is only a tool to help control cravings and prevent relapse. The addiction still has to be treated along with any secondary issues related to the addiction.
We Offer Treatment for Opiate Addiction
If you or someone you love is struggling with opiate addiction, our addiction specialists are available around the clock to assist you. Evoke Wellness offers safe medical detoxification in a comfortable environment and with minimal discomfort. We provide residential treatment in a structured environment and then provide you with after-care support to help lead you on a road to long-lasting recovery. You don’t have to suffer any longer, call Evoke Wellness to learn about our opioid addiction treatment programs.