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Opioid Addiction Recovery

What to do next after an

Opioid Detox

After completing a detox for alcohol or opioids, the next major step is to find some sort of support to stay sober. This could look like a new living situation, access to support groups, or establishing a relationship with a therapist or counselor. Medications are often used to support those in addiction recovery because it can address the physical symptoms and cravings.


Most medications prescribed for opioid addiction, such as Suboxone or Methadone, require ongoing use; otherwise, severe withdrawal symptoms start to appear. Many entering opioid addiction recovery are hesitant to use these types of medications because of another dependency on a drug, along with fear of another withdrawal and detox.

Vivitrol is unique because it does not require a lifelong commitment - one can stop using Vivitrol at any time with no withdrawal symptoms or detox. This provides a level of security to those new to opioid addiction recovery because it is something that they can control, and there aren’t any lifelong consequences to weigh.

Facing Opioid Addiction Recovery

When facing opioid addiction recovery, there are a lot of decisions regarding one’s health and wellbeing that need to be made. These decisions can cause a lot of stress and anxiety, which is especially true if the individual is experiencing a great deal of brain fog after the opioid detox. Vivitrol will support an individual in their opioid addiction recovery and during this very vulnerable time because it will help prevent relapse and future opioid addictions.


Vivitrol is delivered through a monthly injection.  This injection is managed by a physician, and it can be continued by your own doctor at home if you choose. Vivitrol has no withdrawal symptoms when you decide to stop using it.    

Image by Paolo Bendandi

What is Vivitrol?

VIVITROL® (NALTREXONE for extended-release suspension) is an agonist treatment option.  An agonist is a drug or substance that binds to a receptor inside a cell or on its surface and causes the same action as the substance that normally binds to the receptor.

What is Vivitrol used for?

  • Treatment of alcohol dependence in patients who are able to abstain from alcohol in an outpatient setting prior to initiation of treatment with VIVITROL. Patients should not be actively drinking at the time of initial VIVITROL administration.

  • Prevention of relapse to opioid dependence, following opioid detoxification.

  • VIVITROL should be part of a comprehensive management program that includes psychosocial support.

Vivitrol is an opioid antagonist with the highest affinity for the opioid receptor.  

Naltrexone has few, if any, intrinsic actions besides its opioid-blocking properties. However, it does produce some pupillary constriction, by an unknown mechanism.

The administration of VIVITROL is not associated with the development of tolerance or dependence. In subjects physically dependent on opioids, VIVITROL will precipitate withdrawal symptomatology.

Occupation of opioid receptors by naltrexone may block the effects of endogenous opioid peptides. It markedly attenuates or completely blocks, reversibly, the subjective effects of exogenous opioids. The neurobiological mechanisms responsible for the reduction in alcohol consumption observed in alcohol-dependent patients treated with naltrexone are not entirely understood. However, the involvement of the endogenous opioid system is suggested by preclinical data.

Naltrexone blocks the effects of opioids by competitive binding at opioid receptors. This makes the blockade produced potentially surmountable, but overcoming full naltrexone blockade by administration of opioids may result in non-opioid receptor-mediated symptoms such as histamine release.

VIVITROL is not aversive therapy and does not cause a disulfiram-like reaction either as a result of opioid use or ethanol ingestion.

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