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What To Expect From Vivitrol Treatment in Woburn, Massachusetts

Vivitrol treatment in Woburn

People who seek treatment for opioid or alcohol abuse may qualify for medication-assisted treatment (MAT). MAT programs combine cutting-edge FDA-approved medications with evidence-based treatment therapies to help patients deal with withdrawal, cope with cravings, and obtain a lasting recovery.

One medication that is gaining popularity in the addiction treatment community is Vivitrol. Vivitrol is a monthly injection that is thought to be less addictive and associated with a higher rate of medication compliance than other treatment medications like Suboxone or Methadone. However, Vivitrol is still a relatively new medication that some people may be skeptical about.

As a highly effective and safe treatment medication, it’s important to understand how this drug works to treat opioid and alcohol addiction. Here is what patients can expect from Vivitrol treatment in Woburn, MA.

What is Vivitrol?

Vivitrol is a monthly injection of extended-release naltrexone, an opioid antagonist that is used to treat opioid and alcohol addiction. Naltrexone helps treat opioid addiction by blocking the effect that opioid abuse has on the brain and reducing drug cravings that patients often experience after getting sober. While the mechanism of action that makes naltrexone an effective treatment for alcoholism is still unknown, researchers believe it changes how the brain responds to alcohol consumption and alcohol cravings.[1]

Vivitrol is administered once a month as an intramuscular injection into the buttocks. Although naltrexone is also available in pill form that can be taken daily, some patients struggle with medication compliance. As a result, a once-monthly injection can help people who struggle with adhering to medication schedules continue treatment as planned.

  • No longer considers addiction and mental illness pre-existing conditions for insurance purposes
  • Sponsors insurance plans that are for sale on a sliding-scale basis on the Health Insurance Marketplace
  • Provides need-based tax credits to low-income individuals who otherwise would not be able to afford health insurance

Vivitrol Side Effects

Vivitrol may cause side effects. The most common side effect reported is redness or irritation at the injection site which usually subsides within a few days. Other possible side effects of Vivitrol include:

As a result of the introduction of the ACA in 2010, health insurance providers cannot discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions or deny coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. Health insurance plans must provide coverage for:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Nervousness
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Constipation
  • Increased thirst
  • Decreased appetite
  • Weakness
  • Muscle or joint aches
  • Insomnia

Most of these minor side effects will subside within a few days of use, however, other patients may experience more severe side effects. Although rare, additional side effects include:

  • Irregular or fast heartbeat
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Sores or blisters at the injection site
  • Allergic reaction

Any of these symptoms warrant professional medical attention.

How Does Vivitrol Treatment Work in Woburn, MA? Drug and Alcohol Detox

Vivitrol is not intended to help people stop drinking or taking opioids. It is intended to help patients who have already completely detoxed from opioids and/or alcohol. In addition, patients should not have any opioids remaining in their system when they begin taking Vivitrol. If opioids are in the system and Vivitrol is administered too early, the patient can go into immediate opioid withdrawal.

As a result, the first step of Vivitrol treatment in Woburn, MA is detox. Patients will go through a drug and alcohol detox program where they are supervised by expert doctors and clinicians. Since detox can be a painful time, other FDA-approved treatment medications may be administered to help patients cope with their withdrawal symptoms.

After a patient is fully detoxed from opioids and/or alcohol and has abstained from substance abuse for at least 7-10 days, he or she can take the Vivitrol shot.

Monthly Vivitrol Injections

Once a patient is fully detoxed and is deemed a good candidate for the Vivitrol shot, he or she will visit the prescribing physician at the rehab center for the first injection. The injection is administered in the buttocks and is considered very safe. It can only be administered by physicians who have completed specialized training and licensing.

Patients will continue following up with their physician throughout the duration of their care to monitor for any side effects, concerning symptoms, or treatment progress. After 28-30 days, patients will return to their physician for their next Vivitrol shot.

vivitrol treatment in woburn

Get The Care You Need and Deserve

Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment is a leader in the addiction treatment field, with proven success in facilitating long-term recovery. Our team of top clinical & medical experts specializes in treating addiction coupled with mental illness, ensuring that each person receives individualized care. Call us – we’re available 24/day, 7 days/week.

Therapy and Counseling

Vivitrol is most effective when combined with counseling, education, and peer support groups. Patients who are taking Vivitrol while at treatment in Woburn, MA will be required to participate in a comprehensive treatment program. This is because Vivitrol is not intended to cure addiction – it is meant to help reduce drug and alcohol cravings.

Since the medication helps reduce cravings, it also helps keep patients in treatment longer and reduces the risk of relapse. In one clinical trial, people using Vivitrol had 25% fewer heavy drinking days than people who were not taking Vivitrol. And, in another study looking at opioid addiction treatment, 36% of patients taking Vivitrol didn’t use opioids during the study, while only 23% of patients not taking Vivitrol were able to abstain from opioid use.[3]

While taking Vivitrol, patients may participate in a variety of different therapies, including:

  • Group therapy
  • Individual counseling
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
  • Family therapy
  • Holistic therapy
  • Relapse prevention
  • 12-Step facilitation

These therapies help patients uncover the underlying causes of their substance abuse, adopt healthy coping mechanisms, and learn lifestyle skills that will help them stay sober. By combining Vivitrol with evidence-based addiction treatment, rehab programs in Woburn, MA are able to provide a highly individualized and effective treatment approach.

Start Vivitrol Treatment in Woburn, Massachusetts Today

At Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment, we take a holistic approach to substance abuse treatment. This means our facility offers on-site pharmacotherapy, medication-assisted treatment, nutritional guidance, and so much more. If you or a loved one are addicted to opioids or alcohol, you may be a prime candidate for Vivitrol treatment.

To learn more about Vivitrol or to see if you qualify, pick up the phone and call one of our dedicated treatment professionals today.


Inessa Maloney, MS, LMHC
Clinical Director

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