There was a time when medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction meant simply trading one addiction for another. Fortunately, options exist today that have far fewer negative effects than traditional addiction medication treatments such as methadone.
Here we take a look at the benefits of Vivitrol in opioid addiction treatment.
Top 5 Benefits of Vivitrol
Vivitrol contains the drug naltrexone, which is an opioid receptor antagonist responsible for Vivitrol’s effects. Antagonists, such as naltrexone, bind to the opioid receptors but do not activate them.
Furthermore, naltrexone has a higher affinity for the receptors than normal opioids, meaning they stay bound to them.
This results in Vivitrol blocking the effects of opioids in the user. (1)
While naltrexone is not a new drug, the delivery mechanism that Vivitrol uses is. Previously, naltrexone tablets would have needed to be taken daily in order to achieve the blocking mechanism.
This was problematic, however, because the user could simply skip a few doses and resume using opioids. Vivitrol is delivered via an injection that continuously delivers naltrexone for a period of nearly a month. (2)
One of the greatest benefits of Vivitrol compared to other medication-assisted treatment options is that it is not addictive. This means that when the individual decides to end treatment, they will not experience any withdrawal or cravings for Vivitrol.
Studies have shown that naltrexone (and thus Vivitrol) has the ability to reduce cravings. (4)
While the mechanism is not fully understood, a lot may have to do simply with the individual realizing that the blocking mechanism prevents the effects of opioids from being felt, therefore ending a craving before it becomes serious.
Shown to be as effective as Suboxone
One major study published in 2017 found that Vivitrol was as effective as Suboxone in treating opioid addiction.
This is significant, in that Vivitrol is non-addictive, unlike Suboxone. It demonstrates that Vivitrol is just as effective as Suboxone without trading one addiction for another. (5)
Note on Medication-assisted Treatments
Medication-assisted treatments, such as Vivitrol, provide an incredibly valuable asset in helping an individual recover from drugs and alcohol. They do not, however, cure addiction or replace addiction therapies.
This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.