25th July 2018
Quitting alcohol or opioids is no cakewalk. These are two of the most difficult mind-altering substances to give up. This is because the withdrawal process is so unbearable. Many people have a sincere desire to quit drinking or drugging, but they simply can’t do it because they know what will happen when they stop.
Withdrawal is what happens when your body gets used to processing an addictive substance and you suddenly stop using that substance. The process is very similar for alcohol and opioids. They both produce painful symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, body aches, fever, and chills. Plus, if you have been abusing either of these substances extensively, withdrawal can be life-threatening. You can experience seizures, coma, or even death.
Thankfully for those who want to stop drinking or taking opioids, Vivitrol is a medical solution to the problem of opioid or alcohol addiction.
What is Vivitrol?
Vivitrol is an opioid antagonist that affects the same opioid receptor sites as opioid drugs like street heroin, Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, and Fentanyl. When used, it tricks the brain into believing it is receiving opioids, which reducing the intense cravings that accompany this kind of addiction.
While the effects of opioids on alcoholics is not fully understood, the medication also has a positive impact on those who are recovering from alcoholism.
Vivitrol is an injection that is given once a month to those who are wanting to build a life in recovery and enjoy a sober lifestyle. It reduces cravings and post-acute withdrawal symptoms, which can be pretty unbearable for at least the first few months of sobriety.
Vivitrol is not a narcotic and it is non-addictive. Those who use this drug have significantly less cravings for alcohol and opioids than those who don’t. It increases the chances if ongoing recovery.
How Vivitrol Therapy Works
Someone who takes Vivitrol should undergo a professional medical detox before they begin their regular injections. You have to be completely opioid or alcohol free before you can start taking this medication.
A professional medical detox happens at a rehabilitation facility or detox center. During the detoxification process, medications are administered to lessen the pain of cravings and withdrawal symptoms. These include anti-nausea medications, anti-seizure meds, antidepressants, and sedatives. In addition to receiving medication, someone going through detox is evaluated and monitored around the clock to ensure comfort and safety.
Once someone has completed detox from opioids or alcohol, they can begin receiving their once-monthly Vivitrol injection, which is typically injected into the thigh muscle. This has to be done at a doctor’s office.
Addiction Treatment is Completed in Conjunction with Vivitrol Treatments
Because cravings are the number one reason why people in recovery relapse during their first year of sobriety, Vivitrol works to counteract this problem. Those who take Vivitrol are able to undergo extensive addiction treatment and work on their issues without battling intense cravings and withdrawal symptoms at the same time.
In order for Vivitrol to work effectively, someone must undergo addiction treatment while they are receiving the injections. Without it, the medication just kind of acts as a band-aid on a gaping wound.
In order to enjoy long-term sobriety, a recovering person has to address the underlying issues of the addiction and learn healthy coping skills. Inpatient treatment is always a good idea, but many people prefer to attend an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). 12-step recovering meetings are also recommended.