The Basics Of Vivitrol Treatment Programs

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If you’re struggling with opioid or alcohol addiction, you might be wondering what kinds of treatment plans are available.

It’s important to find something that helps achieve your long-term recovery goals and fits in with your lifestyle.

You might have come across the Vivitrol Treatment Program. This is a Medication-Assisted Treatment that involves a mixture of monthly injections and regular counseling or therapy sessions.

In this article, we’ll discuss:

  • How Vivitrol works
  • What a Vivitrol Treatment Program involves
  • Who is eligible for Vivitrol and how much it costs.

Let’s get into it.

What is a Vivitrol Treatment Program?

A Vivitrol Treatment Program is where Vivitrol is used to help the patient achieve long-term sobriety goals, which can be either freedom from opioid addiction or addiction to alcohol.

What makes Vivitrol effective is that it takes away the cravings for alcohol that patients experience on their sober journey.

It also blocks opioid receptors in the brain – which means that if patients relapse, they won’t get the high they so desperately crave.

However, Vivitrol is not a successful treatment on its own. That’s why a Vivitrol Treatment Program typically involves a mixture of Vivitrol injections and other healthcare appointments.

Patients will usually also receive mental health support, therapy, or counseling at the same time as the injections.

Treatment might also involve going to rehab, but this might come a bit before Vivitrol is prescribed to ensure the patient is fully detoxified.

Who is Eligible for Vivitrol?

Vivitrol is currently FDA-approved to treat patients over the age of 18. However, there are also a few other factors that determine whether you can use Vivitrol.

Firstly, Vivitrol can only be given to patients who are completely detoxified from drugs and alcohol.

This means they have to not have taken opioids or alcohol for at least one to two weeks before starting treatment.

You must also not have a physical opioid dependence when taking Vivitrol. This is because Vivitrol blocks the opioid receptors in your brain, meaning you’ll experience harsher withdrawal symptoms.

You’re also more at risk of accidentally overdosing if you relapse. This makes it incredibly dangerous to take Vivitrol.

How Does a Vivitrol Treatment Program Work?

Patient Assessment

A Vivitrol Treatment Program will usually start with a patient assessment and eligibility determination. You’ll first need to have a chat with a medical professional about your history of addiction, and what treatments are right for you.

Once your doctor has decided to get you on the program, you’ll need to do what’s called a ‘naloxone challenge test.’ This is to determine whether you’re still dependent on opioid drugs.

You’ll be injected with a little bit of naloxone to see if you experience any effects of opioid withdrawal.

The point of this is mostly for safety reasons. If you’re still dependent on opioids, you’re more at risk of overdose when you start taking Vivitrol.

This is also a good time to start doing your research on Vivitrol’s side effects. Make sure you speak to your doctor about any concerns you may have and talk about your history of substance abuse.

The Vivitrol Injections

Now it’s time to receive your first Vivitrol injection. This will be done by an experienced medical professional and is usually given as an intramuscular injection into the buttocks.

As Vivitrol is a slow-release medication, you’ll have to come back for monthly injections until your treatment is over. Your appointments will typically be scheduled four weeks apart.

Your doctor will also need to monitor your reactions to the drug, such as any severe side effects you might experience.

Counseling or Therapy Sessions

Alongside your monthly injections, the Vivitrol Treatment Program also involves regular counseling or therapy appointments.

You also might receive mental health support during this time, although this depends on your case.

Attending regular appointments is important to achieving your sobriety goals. This is because Vivitrol is most effective when used alongside other forms of treatment.

Vivitrol isn’t a magical cure for opioid or alcohol dependence; it simply makes it easier to stay sober.

Monitoring and Managing Side Effects of Vivitrol

Like any drug, Vivitrol comes with a risk of side effects. In particular, injection site reactions are fairly common when using the drug.

Fortunately, most side effects are mild and aren’t something you should be worried about. Some mild side effects can include:

  • nausea
  • headaches
  • reduced appetite
  • sleep disruptions
  • dizziness or fainting
  • toothache
  • common cold symptoms (runny nose, sore throat, watery eyes, sneezing, etc.)
  • vomiting
  • muscle and joint pain.

Other, more serious side effects might include:

  • risk of opioid overdose or withdrawal
  • a severe reaction at the injection site
  • liver damage or hepatitis
  • depression and anxiety
  • a serious allergic reaction.

Fortunately, most of these side effects are rare. However, if you experience any concerning symptoms, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider straight away.

Keep track of your symptoms and make sure you discuss any concerns you have with your doctor before you start the treatment process.

Vivitrol Cost (and Insurance)

For a single injection, Vivitrol typically costs anywhere between $1000 to $1500 depending on the pharmacy. As it’s also a prescription medication, you’ll also need to have a prescription from your doctor to buy it.

However, Vivitrol can be either fully covered or partially subsidized by health insurance.

You’ll need to check the specifics of your insurance policy first, and the coverage you get can vary based on factors like what state you live in and the treatment setting for the injection.

Final Thoughts

Getting sober from an alcohol or opioid addiction is no easy task. That’s why finding the treatment option that works best for you is an important part of the recovery journey.

If you’re interested in starting the Vivitrol treatment program, it’s best that you talk with your healthcare provider first so that you can find a treatment plan that’s right for you to achieve your long-term goals.

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