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Is Vivitrol addictive?

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Is vivitrol addictive? Alcoholism and opioid dependence treatment at New Horizons Medical

In 2006, Vivitrol, a new type of naltrexone medication designed for long-lasting effects, received approval from the FDA to aid in treating alcohol addiction. This development was seen as a significant advancement for those struggling with addictive behaviors. Subsequently, in 2010, the approval was extended to include the treatment of opioid dependence. This decision was met with widespread approval among healthcare professionals, highlighting Vivitrol as the first of its kind: an extended-release, addiction-fighting medication that is neither narcotic nor habit-forming, marking a critical shift in treatment strategies for opioid addiction. In this article, you will learn more about this medication and is Vivitrol addictive?

Vivitrol for Alcohol Use Disorder at New Horizons Medical. Stop drinking today!
Vivitrol for Alcohol Use Disorder at New Horizons Medical

What is Vivitrol?

Vivitrol is a medicine used to help people who are fighting addiction to alcohol or opioids, like certain painkillers or heroin. It’s given as a shot by a doctor once a month. The main ingredient in Vivitrol is called naltrexone, which works by blocking certain effects of alcohol and opioids in the brain.

This helps reduce cravings and the desire to use these substances. Because it’s given by a doctor and works in your body for a long time, people don’t have to remember to take it daily. This makes it a helpful option for many trying to overcome addiction.

How Does Vivitrol Help One Recover From Addiction?

Vivitrol is part of a treatment plan for people who want to stop using alcohol or opioids. It’s not a cure but works best when combined with other forms of help like counseling or support groups. 

When someone takes Vivitrol, it makes the effects of alcohol and opioids less pleasing, which can help them not want to use these substances. This can give them a better chance to focus on other parts of their recovery, like learning new ways to handle stress or fixing relationships damaged by addiction. 

Doctors and counselors often suggest Vivitrol as it is not addictive to people who have already stopped using alcohol or opioids and are looking for extra support to keep from starting again.

How is Vivitrol Used?

Vivitrol is used as a monthly shot given by a healthcare provider. Before starting Vivitrol, a person must be free from opioids for a certain period, usually about 7 to 14 days, to avoid withdrawal symptoms. For both alcohol and opioid related treatment, it is best to consult with a prescribing physician to determine the appropriate tactics to start the medication.

After receiving the shot, the medicine slowly releases over a month, helping to reduce cravings and the desire to use alcohol or opioids. This is because the medication blocks the receptors in the brain responsible for reacting to alcohol.

Over time, Vivitrol helps to change the behavior associated with drinking – as there is no more buzz there is less desire to drink. It is recommended to be enrolled in ongoing mental health therapy sessions to help patients remain stable, track progress, and set up new goals for recovery and healthy living.

It’s important to keep taking Vivitrol every month as part of a treatment plan that includes counseling and support to help with recovery.

Are There Any Risks Associated With Using Vivitrol?

Yes, like all medicines, Vivitrol can have some side effects. The most common ones include pain, redness, or itching where the shot was given. Some people might feel tired, have a headache, or feel sick to their stomach. These side effects are usually mild and go away after a few days. However, there are some serious risks, too. For example, if someone uses opioids while on Vivitrol, they could have severe reactions because Vivitrol blocks the effects of opioids. 

Also, there’s a rare risk of liver damage, so doctors will check a person’s liver before starting Vivitrol and keep an eye on it. It’s vital to talk to a healthcare provider about all the risks and benefits of Vivitrol to make sure it’s the right choice for someone’s recovery plan.

So, is Vivitrol Addictive?

No, Vivitrol is not addictive. It’s designed to help people stop their addiction to alcohol or opioids. Vivitrol works by blocking the brain’s receptors that feel pleasure from these substances, which helps reduce cravings and the desire to use them. 

Since Vivitrol does not cause a high or any pleasurable effects, it doesn’t have the potential for abuse or addiction. This makes it a safe option for people looking for help to stay away from alcohol and opioids as part of their recovery process.


Vivitrol is a medication that helps people who are trying to overcome addiction to alcohol or opioids. It is given as a shot once a month and works by reducing cravings and the desire to use these substances. 

While Vivitrol is an important part of treatment, it works best when used along with counseling and support groups. It’s not addictive and has been approved by the FDA as a safe way to help people in their recovery. However, like all medicines, it can have some side effects, so it’s important to talk with a healthcare provider to see if it’s the right option.

Want to learn more about treatment options or schedule an appointment? Give us a call at 888-999-2041 to schedule your first consultation!

Vivitrol for Alcohol Use Disorder at New Horizons Medical. Stop drinking today!
Vivitrol for Alcohol Use Disorder at New Horizons Medical

Learn more about Vivitrol here.

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