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Vivitrol Treatment Milwaukee WI

Spectrum Healthcare offers Vivitrol (naltrexone for extended-release injectable suspension) as a part of an overall treatment program for alcohol dependency or Opiate dependency.  Vivitrol is an important aspect of the recovery treatment process, because it targets the physical dependency aspect of addiction.  Vivitrol is used to help reduce cravings for both opiate and alcohol use. Vivitrol is a once-monthly injection of naltrexone, a medication that is used to treat alcoholism and opioid dependence. Naltrexone is not an opioid, so unlike other medications used in medication-assisted treatment, like Suboxone, it does not have the dependency risk on the medication itself. Spectrum Healthcare has many years of experience treating patients with Vivitrol and providers at Spectrum Healthcare have taught other providers in the State of Wisconsin  about the best clinical uses of Vivitrol.


What is Vivitrol?

Vivitrol is the first non-addictive drug approved by the FDA to prevent opioid use following detox. The active ingredient, naltrexone, acts on specific opioid receptors in the brain to block the “high” or pleasurable feelings that occur with opioid or alcohol use. Vivitrol is not addictive. It must be administered by a medical professional so there is virtually no risk for abuse.  Vivitrol is used to prevent relapse to opiate dependence after opiate detox and is also used to treat alcohol dependence. Vivitrol is typically given as a monthly injection following detox.

Important things to know about Vivitrol

  • You must stop taking opiates or other opioid-containing medications before taking Vivitrol

  • You should stop drinking alcohol before taking Vivitrol

  • Vivitrol should be used in conjunction with other recovery programs, such as counseling, which is also offered through Spectrum Healthcare.

  • Vivitrol works to prevent people from using opiates. It takes the control out of the patient’s hands by curbing the desired effect. Taking Vivitrol during the first six months to year of recovery highly increases the chance of having a long-term full recovery.

How Does Vivitrol Work?

After a person has detoxed, they may begin their Vivitrol treatment. Vivitrol must always be administered by a medical professional. The medication comes in the form of an intramuscular injection that is given in the buttocks once a month. The typical dose is 380 mg which will act as an extended dose that is active for up to 4 weeks.


The most common side effect of Vivitrol is mild swelling, redness, and irritation at the injection site. These symptoms will typically subside after a few days. 


Studies conducted on the effectiveness of Vivitrol found that there were 94% fewer relapses among people taking Vivitrol for dependence as well as significantly reduced cravings in people struggling with opioid cravings

How is Vivitrol Used in Addiction Treatment?

Vivitrol is used in addition to traditional behavioral therapies that are used at most addiction treatment centers. Since the medication reduces drug and alcohol cravings, it can help prevent relapse in people who are actively participating in their recovery. 


This means any medications used for substance use disorder should be used in combination with a comprehensive treatment program.


Cravings can be powerful, and even though they are mere thoughts, cravings often lead people to relapse. By reducing or eliminating cravings, Vivitrol can help people focus more on their therapy and recovery rather than thoughts of substance use. 


However, Vivitrol alone is not a cure for opioid addiction or alcoholism. The most important parts of addiction treatment are behavioral therapy and support groups. Therapy and support groups teach individuals how to live sober without the use of drugs, alcohol, or replacement medications.

Vivitrol may be used to treat alcohol or opioid dependence in patients who are able to abstain from alcohol in an outpatient setting prior to the initiation of Vivitrol. Patients should not be actively drinking at the time of initial Vivitrol administration.


Vivitrol may also be used to prevent relapse in people who have detoxed off opioids.


Vivitrol has also been shown to improve abstention rates, reduce the number of drinking days, and reduce the risk of relapse. It also reduces alcohol and narcotic cravings.

What Can I Expect from Vivitrol Treatment at Spectrum Healthcare?

Vivitrol is part of our addiction treatment program at Spectrum Healthcare. Before patients can begin taking Vivitrol, they must complete detox. If naltrexone is taken too soon, it can make people experience withdrawal symptoms. As a result, individuals must be sober for at least 7-10  days before beginning Vivitrol treatment. 


After detox, you may get your first Vivitrol shot if you and your doctor agree on using naltrexone in your treatment plan. While taking the medication, patients will participate in other programs which may include, 1 on 1 psychiatric care, individual therapy, and Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP);  depending on the level of care they need. 


We encourage patients to join a support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) so they have ongoing support for their recovery. 


Find Out if Vivitrol Treatment is Right For You. There are many different types of medications used to treat drug and alcohol addiction and Vivitrol isn’t right for everyone. 


Contact Spectrum Healthcare today!  Our specialists are waiting to help you on your road to recovery.

You can read more about some of our other Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) like Suboxone and Spravato/Ketamine/

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