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Vivitrol and Alcoholism: What You Should Know

When it comes to getting addicted to alcohol, it happens before you realize it. Suddenly, what once was a few drinks with friends after work has turned into a daily habit that’s spiraled out of control. But alcoholism isn’t a death sentence, and, with new medications available, it can be overcome without the need to spend months away at a drug and alcohol rehab center.

Vivitrol, one of the newest anti-addiction medications, contains the drug naltrexone in an injectable, extended release form. The shot lasts for a month and is designed to treat alcohol dependence, as well as opiate dependence. It’s an abstinence based medication and has a high risk factor if used with illicit drugs.

Here’s what you need to know.

Vivitrol Works as a Blocker

While no one’s 100 percent certain how or why Vivitrol works to eliminate alcohol cravings, it’s believed that naltrexone acts as a blocker on receptors in the brain that alcohol would normally attach to. When alcohol is used, the euphoria associated with its use doesn’t occur. It’s also believed to help reduce the amount of cravings alcoholics have for alcohol.

If you or someone you love is addicted to drugs and alcohol and needs help finding treatment, call 800-654-0987 today to talk to someone immediately.

Vivitrol Includes Treatment

Vivitrol is only to be used in a medically assisted treatment program, which includes the medication used in coordination with addiction counseling. This counseling should incorporate traditional addiction therapy approaches such as CBT, as well as the development of stress reducing mechanisms, coping skills, and awareness of how addiction impacts both individuals and those in their lives.

Patients in these medically assisted treatment programs should participate in both individual and group therapy, as well as psycho-educational training about addiction and drug abuse.

Vivitrol Promotes Harm Reduction

Vivitrol is meant to be taken after drinking has ceased. And although it may not be the right treatment for everyone, Vivitrol has shown to have the following advantages for people when used to treat alcohol dependence:

  • Significantly fewer heavy drinking days, defined by five or more alcoholic beverages for men and four or more for women
  • Significantly fewer drinking days
  • Greater success rate with complete abstinence
  • Because it’s a month long dose, there’s greater treatment compliance when compared to daily medications

Vivitrol may cause Serious Side Effects

Vivitrol is not for everybody and can have serious side effects. These include:

  • Risk of opioid overdose
  • Injection site reactions
  • Sudden opioid withdrawal
  • Liver damage
  • Depression
  • Allergic pneumonia
  • Serious allergic reactions

Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headaches, sleepiness, insomnia, cold symptoms, painful joints, muscle cramping, and toothaches.

Are You Ready for Recovery?

Are you or someone you love addicted to drugs or alcohol? Are you ready for recovery? If so, call 800-654-0987 today to talk to someone who can offer you help immediately. Who knows? It may just be the call that saves your life.

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