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Treating substance abuse using Vivitrol by Dr. Randall Steele

October 2, 2018 at 12:00 AM
by Outreach Recovery

Vivitrol, or naltrexone by generic name, is a medication that is used to reduce cravings in patients suffering from opiate or alcohol use disorders. 

While it is true that naltrexone is an "opiate blocker", that is not the primary reason that it is used to help substance use disorder patients. Its primary function is to reduce the cravings associated with substance use disorders. How it does this is not clear even to the scientists, but it is a well established fact that it is effective at reducing these cravings. By doing so it can help persons with substance use disorders to avoid relapsing. 

Vivitrol cannot be used if the patient is actively taking opiates of any type. This includes buprenorphine, commonly known as Suboxone. It is often used after buprenorphine treatment when the patient has successfully weaned off of that medication. 

Vivitrol is given as a once monthly injection at the doctor's office, so there is no need to remember to take a pill every day. Even though the naltrexone is an opiate blocker there are ways that doctors can treat pain in an emergency situation, so that is no reason to avoid the benefits of naltrexone. 

Vivitrol has been in use for several years and has proven to be a safe and effective treatment option for persons suffering from opiate or alcohol substance use disorders. 

Contact your recovery treatment provider for more information.