Vivitrol is the brand name and injectable form of Naltrexone. Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist, meaning it blocks the effects of opioids. It also binds to the endorphin receptors in the body, blocking the sedative and euphoric feelings people get from substances like alcohol and opioids.
Because of these effects, Vivitrol is used to treat opioid use disorder and alcohol use disorder. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is the use of medications like Vivitrol—in addition to behavioral therapy—to help prevent cravings or withdrawal symptoms. Since people in MAT are still relying on medications, some refer to it as “replacing one addiction with another.”
However, Vivitrol has no potential for misuse. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “Naltrexone is not an opioid, is not addictive, and does not cause withdrawal symptoms with stop of use.” The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has not classified it as a controlled substance, meaning the DEA does not believe it has potential for abuse.
While Naltrexone pills are taken daily, a Vivitrol shot—which is extended-release—can be used once a month with the same protection against cravings. Either option can help people get and stay sober by reducing the pleasure people get from alcohol or opioids; this makes them less likely to drink or use. According to a study published by SAMHSA, using Vivitrol significantly reduces people’s chances of relapsing.
Amatus Recovery Centers offers medication-assisted treatment (Vivitrol and Suboxone) to help you gradually break free from substances. If you are struggling with an opioid or alcohol use disorder, there is help and hope. Amatus Recovery Centers across the country provide high-quality treatment for addiction and mental health disorders. Our staff—many of whom are sober themselves—will help you build lasting recovery. Call an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005.