how does vivitrol work for alcohol

How Does Vivitrol Work for Alcohol?

Once a person descends into alcoholism, it can seem nearly impossible to find their way out. Fortunately, the right rehab program can provide answers they may not know about, including Vivitrol. How does Vivitrol work for alcohol addiction? It is used to help prevent a person in recovery from alcoholism from experiencing the typical effects of inebriation they expect, should they drink again. As a result, the individual becomes much less likely to start drinking again after they get sober. 

What Is Vivitrol?

Vivitrol is an FDA-approved drug available by prescription only. It is the brand name for a medication called naltrexone. Other brands of naltrexone exist, but Vivitrol is often favored by physicians due to its slow-release formula. This drug must be administered by a healthcare professional. Delivery comes via an intramuscular injection that allows it to work continuously during each dosage interval. Vivitrol is used to treat a host of alcohol-related conditions, all of which fall under the umbrella of an alcohol use disorder. These include alcohol dependence, alcohol abuse, and alcohol addiction. 

How Does Vivitrol Work For Alcohol?

Vivitrol is introduced to the body via injection by a medical professional and taken regularly over time. It binds itself to receptors in the brain, which helps to block the effects normally experienced when a person with an alcohol addiction drinks. Because the individual does not receive the expected pleasurable impact of feeling drunk, it removes the payoff to relapse after entering recovery from alcoholism. This, in turn, lowers the alcohol cravings a person experiences in the early stages of recovery. 

Vivitrol proves most effective when used in conjunction with other treatments for alcohol addiction. These include talk and behavioral therapy, holistic therapy, and medication management.

Who Should Try Vivitrol?

Vivitrol can be part of an overall effective plan for adults age 18 and over who need help to stop drinking. As of now, it cannot be used in the treatment of minors with alcohol addiction. The medication helps control cravings that can make the first weeks and months of recovery so challenging. Someone new to trying to get sober may find that Vivitrol works well as part of their treatment plan. 

As well, it can be a potent approach to helping someone who has become sober in the past but then relapsed. A trained clinician can make a full assessment of a person seeking alcohol addiction treatment in order to determine if Vivitrol should be part of their program.

Signs & Symptoms of Alcoholism

Often, someone who has an alcohol use disorder exhibits signs of it that seem obvious to others, but may not be easy to see for themselves. For that matter, loved ones of an alcoholic may find it painful to admit the person they love is in trouble. This can make it difficult for them to see the evidence of the situation. Common signs and symptoms of alcoholism include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Poor coordination
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Hangovers
  • Drinking alcohol to try to cope with a hangover
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Redness in the nose or face
  • Shaking 
  • Experiencing blackouts when drinking
  • Gaining or losing weight
  • Ignoring good nutrition due to drinking
  • Symptoms of poor mental health, such as anxiety, depression, or moodiness

Behavioral signs and symptoms may also occur. These can include trouble in relationships with partners, family, and friends that involve alcohol consumption or activity while drinking. Many people with alcohol use disorder also lose interest in their usual activities and hobbies and may isolate themselves a lot.

How Is Alcohol Addiction Treated?

Alcohol addiction requires treatment that starts with a detoxification program. Attendance in detox usually lasts from five to ten days. From there, a person may transition into a residential program, which requires them to live in a facility for 30 days or more. Others choose to attend outpatient programs in order to continue treatment. 

Someone leaving residential treatment may not be ready to return home yet. A sober living home can be the right next step for them. Sober living homes can also work for anyone who may already be in recovery but need to find a neutral setting to work on themselves. How does Vivitrol work for alcohol in these various types of programs? It often begins during detox, when withdrawal symptoms start. Vivitrol can continue to be used during the next stages of treatment, allowing the person a better chance of staying sober.

Does Insurance Cover Vivitrol?

Alcohol use disorder is classified as a medical condition and a brain disorder. This means insurance companies understand the need for professional treatment and typically cover the types of programs needed for the condition. A person who wants to find out the details of their insurance coverage should contact their company and ask what help their policy provides for them. They can ask questions such as where they can go for help, what their out-of-pocket expenses might be, and how does Vivitrol work for alcohol as part of a plan the company covers. 

Vivitrol Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

Have you or someone you care about reached the end of your rope and need help for your alcohol addiction? We know how hard it can be to reach out for help. Creekside Recovery Residences in Atlanta provides beautiful, modern sober living residences that set the scene for starting a life of sobriety and good health. We also offer access to Vivitrol and other approaches that help someone struggling with alcohol addiction.

If you have questions about how does Vivitrol work for alcohol addiction, contact us today. We will be happy to explain how this medication helps keep people sober. 

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