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The latest phenomenon in addiction treatment is an injectable drug named Vivitrol. Vivitrol is a new formulation of the drug naltrexone, which is used to decrease cravings for both opioids and alcohol. Naltrexone is available in pill form; however, this relies on the addict’s ability to take it daily, which may be quite difficult in the early stages of addiction recovery. Therefore, this long-acting injectable presents a promising alternative in addiction recovery.

Research shows that patients using Vivitrol have a greater chance of maintaining abstinence from alcohol and opioids than those with no medication assistance. Any proposed effort to address addiction should always include counseling and lifestyle changes in conjunction with any medication used to decrease cravings.

It is important to be aware that the effects of the Vivitrol shot will wear off over time, which can lead to increased cravings and/or the possibility of overdose should the individual choose to return to their substance of choice in the same amount they used prior to receiving the injection. Also, administration of a Vivitrol injection requires 7-14 days without any opioids, including buprenorphine, to avoid sudden opioid withdrawal. It is essential to plan with a doctor the best way to treat addiction and to discuss whether Vivitrol or any other medication is right for an individual’s unique situation.

Main St. Psychiatry is happy to offer Vivitrol as an option for those individuals struggling with addiction to alcohol or opioids. If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse, please give us a call to discuss your options and available counseling.

For more information on Vivitrol, check out the links below:

Original material found at: https://www.oasas.ny.gov/AdMed/FYI/fyivivitrol.cfm