What is Vivitrol?

One of the most frequently asked questions by clients before entering a drug and alcohol rehab program is “are Vivitrol shots available”? So what is Vivitrol? What is it used for? Who is it recommended for?

Vivitrol is a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medication that contains the ingredient naltrexone and is used as a form of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for those with alcohol addiction or opioid addictions. MAT is often used during the detox period of an individual’s rehab treatment in which their drug dependency is replaced with a legally prescribed and monitored substitute drug in order to help stabilize the patient and slowly reduce their physical dependency on their harmful substance of choice. During MAT, patients are regularly assessed and evaluated for their health and progress. This allows their clinical team to make any necessary adjustments to any medications or treatments while under critical care. Vivitrol treatments can usually last anywhere from three to four months.

A large box packaging of Vivitrol surrounded by a syringe, and two small glass vials containing Vivitrol medication.

Depending on the severity of an individual’s alcohol use disorder or substance use disorder, their clinical team may recommend some form of medication management such as using the medication naltrexone, which is most commonly known by the brand name Vivitrol. Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist. The medication attaches to the opioid receptors in the brain, essentially blocking the euphoric effects that it would normally send off into the brain and body. Unlike other medications, naltrexone does not produce any narcotic effects and patients will not experience any withdrawal symptoms from the medication itself. However, patients who receive this form of medication management, may often experience withdrawal symptoms from the previous substance they were trying to detox from.

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Vivitrol is an intramuscular extended-release formulation that is normally found in an injection form. The medication will begin working within two hours after the initial injection and will continue to work on your body until the next injection up to four weeks later. For individuals suffering from alcohol use disorders and addictions, Vivitrol can be used to help reduce cravings, reduce the quantity of alcohol intake and ultimately reduce the rewarding and pleasurable effects that alcohol consumption would normally produce.  

Despite the many positives of this medication, it is not a cure for drug and alcohol addiction. In order for naltrexone to be the most effective and successful, it should be used as part of a complete comprehensive addiction recovery treatment plan. This plan may include other forms of medication management, intensive and rigorous behavioral therapies, participation in recovery support groups and utilization of social services that help build client growth and independence. When seeking out a drug and alcohol rehab provider, Hotel California by the Sea offers one of the premiere treatment programs sought out by many from around the nation.

Reach out to Hotel California by the Sea

We specialize in treating addiction and other co-occurring disorders, such as PTSD. Our Admissions specialists are available to walk you through the best options for treating your addiction.

Hotel California by the Sea specializes in substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health disorders. Offering a multitude of treatment options ranging from medical detox, residential inpatient programs and outpatient programming, clients will have the best opportunities to heal from their addictions. With specialized behavioral therapies such as CBT, DBT and EMDR therapy, patients will learn the root causes of their addictions and build effective coping strategies to help them when faced with distressing situations once they become independent of rehab life. Hotel California by the Sea also offers unique social services to its clients as they continue through their lifelong commitment to healing and recovery.