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NorthPoint Recovery Now Offers Vivitrol Services for Those with Opioid Addiction and Alcoholism

We are proud and excited to offer Vivitrol services for those who struggle with alcoholism or substance abuse (heroin, pain meds, etc). If you or someone you love is an addict, this medication is definitely worth considering. In the time that we have offered it, we've seen vast improvement in many of our patients.

Vivitrol is medication assisted treatment, or MAT. This is the safest method available to treat people with alcohol addictions or other substance abuse issues.

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About Vivitrol Services for Alcohol Dependence or Opioid Addiction

There are several ways that you can begin Vivitrol treatment. If you become a patient with us, we can guide you through what the process looks like.

The first step is for you to go through the detox process for either opioids or alcohol. As you might expect, detoxification will be different for everyone, depending on their drug(s) of choice. We tell most people to expect to remain in detox for a week to ten days. This gives the drugs ample time to get out of your system.

During your detox, you'll receive a wide variety of treatments. You may take medications that are specifically targeted to your withdrawal symptoms. You may also be involved in holistic treatments to help with withdrawal.

Afterwards, if the doctor agrees it's appropriate for you, Vivitrol will be introduced. Our Medical Director, Dr. Weathers will talk with you about the pros and cons of this drug. If you're both in agreement, he'll write the prescription for you. The shot will then be administered by a nurse during your stay here.

While you are receiving Vivitrol treatment, counseling is very important. You will be participating in a 12 Step program, and you'll meet regularly with your counselor.

What is the Cost of Treatment with the Opiate Blocker Shot?

Vivitrol Services

If you need to pay for the Vivitrol injection out of pocket it can be quite expensive. For those who are self-pay, each shot may cost around $1,500. Luckily, most patients are able to receive this injection at no cost. Our staff works tirelessly on the paperwork and insurance side to get this medication covered by insurance at no cost. In order to be effective, you must commit to getting the shot every month.

Even without insurance, there are patient assistance programs available to cover costs to those interested in taking this medication. At Northpoint, insurance and lack of funds is not a barrier to receiving Vivitrol injections.

According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, Vivitrol is covered under Medicaid in many states. It's important for you to talk with someone at your local Medicaid office for more information. They will be able to tell you what your state's insurance program will cover. It appears as though more and more states are realizing how beneficial Vivitrol really is.

If you have a different type of insurance, you still may have coverage for Vivitrol injections. If you have met your deductible, your plan may cover it completely. If not, you may have to pay a co-insurance amount or a co-pay.

Most people find that they don't need to worry about covering the cost of Vivitrol out of pocket. This is a relief for them because it means they can afford the treatment they need.

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What is Vivitrol?

Vivitrol is the extended-release version of a medication called Naltrexone. It is an injection that is only available by prescription. It must be administered by a qualified professional in a clinical setting.

Vivitrol works by preventing a relapse back to opiate use after you've gone through detox. It has been proven to decrease cravings and prevent opiates from working while in early recovery. It is critical to stop taking any and all opioid drugs prior to starting this medicine. The timing of starting it is very important. All opiate drugs must be out of your system before you can begin taking it. Otherwise, you may force your body into precipitated withdrawal, which can be very difficult. Our providers work closely with you to ensure you start this medication at the right time.

For many who have taken Vivitrol for alcoholism or opioid dependence, it means finally experiencing freedom. Quitting the use of alcohol and/or opiates is very challenging, and it's possible with Vivitrol.

Vivitrol is made by the company, Alkermes. According to Wikipedia, the drug, Naltrexone was first created in 1963 at Endo Laboratories. In 1984, the oral tablet version was approved by the FDA to treat opioid dependence. It was approved to treat alcohol dependence in 1995.

By 2006, the intramuscular injection was approved by the FDA. It was given the name Vivitrol, but it was only approved to treat alcohol dependence. In 2010, it was found to be helpful in treating opioid dependence as well.

If you have ever experienced other forms of treatment for treating addiction, you may wonder how Vivitrol compares. Opioid replacement therapy has been on the rise all over the United States over the last few years. It has been effective, but it doesn't come without some serious risks.

Whether you've had ORT or not, the Naltrexone injection is something to consider. You're likely to find that it's much more effective, and studies actually support this.

Vivitrol Vs. Suboxone

Suboxone is a medication that is frequently given to those with opiate addictions. Typically, patients are started on Subutex first, and then transitioned to Suboxone for long-term care. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has conducted a study comparing the two medications. Their findings are very interesting.

As far as Suboxone goes, it definitely has its benefits. The most obvious one is that patients don't have to wait a specific amount of time to start it. They can begin taking it shortly after the last use of opiates, even while opiates are still in their systems. This alone makes taking it seem much more attractive.

On the other hand, Suboxone does have its downsides too. It has gotten a poor reputation for being a drug of abuse. Because it is also an opiate, it has been criticized. Physicians and experts who are against it claim that people are simply trading one drug for another. It's also not always easy to remember to take your medication when you're on Suboxone. Forgetting a dose could result in a relapse and will always result in experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

There are a lot of benefits to taking Vivitrol instead. This is a drug that does not contain any opiates at all- it does not cause dependence and therefore will not cause any withdrawal symptoms if you miss a dose. This alone is enough to cause doctors to give it a second look. Whereas Suboxone is only approved to treat opioid addiction, Vivitrol treats opiates and alcoholism. Also, if you take the Naltrexone injection, you receive it once a month. There are no pills to worry about, and no risk of a secondary addiction.

The downside to Vivitrol is that it cannot be started right away due to the risk of precipitated withdrawal. This means that people need to detox opioids out of their systems first. They must wait between 7 and 14 days before they can start it. When coming to Northpoint however, we manage your detox and start Vivitrol therapy at the right time.

The outcome of the study was that both medications appeared to be just as effective. It's important to get professional advice to find out which one would be best for you.

Does Vivitrol Have Any Side Effects You Should be Aware of?

You can experience some side effects when you begin taking Vivitrol. These might include:

  • Injection site tenderness
  • Fatigue
  • A decreased appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle cramps and/or joint pain
  • Headaches
  • Vertigo (dizziness)

Most people agree that the side effects are worth having the benefits of Naltrexone. You should report any serious side effects to your doctor right away. They will decide if you should continue taking it, based on how you feel.

Vivitrol/Naltrexone FAQs

This has been a very brief overview of Vivitrol and what you can expect. It's possible that you still have more questions that need to be answered. We'd like to address a few of them here.

If you are an alcoholic, taking Naltrexone is going to reduce your urge to drink. You'll find that it takes your cravings away, and some people say it does so completely. Nevertheless, there are those who will relapse and start drinking again after they begin this medication.

If you drink alcohol while using Vivitrol, you shouldn't experience any serious side effects. This medicine doesn't work by reducing intoxication for those who get drunk while taking it but it will decrease the pleasurable effects of alcohol you may have experienced before Vivitrol was on board.

The effects of Vivitrol on opioid drugs is very different. According to the FDA, f you take opiates while on Vivitrol, you won't feel the effects of them at all. This might lead some people to take excessive amounts in an attempt to get high.

Even though you don't feel the effects of the opiates, that doesn't mean they can't hurt you. It is possible to overdose while using Vivitrol if you take too many opioid drugs. All use of them should be avoided when you're receiving the opioid blocker shot to avoid dangerous and even fatal side effects.

If you get injured and you need a pain medication, make sure you let your doctor know. They can prescribe you something else that does not have any opioids in it, or reverse the Vivitrol injection in an emergency.

The Vivitrol shot is designed to last for 28 days. It is vital for you to get your shot every single month. Otherwise, you may experience returned cravings and you may suffer from a relapse.

It's recommended for most people to take Vivitrol for 12 months. Once the year is over, they should be able to remain free of alcohol or opiates on their own. Although, continued counseling and group therapy is recommended.

Most of the side effects that you'll experience with Vivitrol are not long-term. They're usually the result of your body adjusting to the medication. Some side effects may linger for a few weeks, or longer. Occasionally, people may have some effects that don't seem to go away.

If your side effects are interfering with your quality of life in any way, talk with your doctor. They will be able to help you.

Is Vivitrol Right for You?

The only way to answer that question is to talk with a professional. Many people are viewing the Naltrexone injection as being the medication they've been waiting for. Perhaps you're hopeful that you'll feel the same way. Talking with an addiction treatment expert will give you some insight on whether this is right for you.

At NorthPoint Recovery, we've seen so many people improve because of Vivitrol. That's why we're so excited to be offering it as a part of our services. We'd love the opportunity to talk with you about how it might work for you during your recovery.

Do you have questions about the Vivitrol injection, or do you want to get started with your treatment? Please contact us and let us know.

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