What Is Vivitrol

Doctor’s office

Vivitrol  (Naltrexone) is used to assist people with an opiate addiction in order to help them quit abusing opiates.

Someone struggling with opiate addiction would go to a doctor once a month and have the Vivitrol administered via injection. When the Vivitrol is injected, it makes its way to the brain and blocks the opiate receptors which in turn makes the euphoric experience obsolete. The thought process is that, if the opiate abuser cannot get high, he or she will eventually quit using the drug.

The myth behind Vivitrol is that people expect this to be a cure-all “quick fix” to their drug problem. However, there is no magic pill or shot that will cure addiction.

“If someone doesn’t handle the underlying issues behind why they abuse drugs in the first place, they will continue to seek out ways to get high.”

People who expect Vivitrol to cure their drug addiction run a high risk of losing their lives to that same drug. Although Vivitrol blocks the receptors in the brain, that doesn’t make it impossible for drug users to still get high. If someone doesn’t handle the underlying issues behind why they abuse drugs in the first place, they will continue to seek out ways to get high.

This is where Vivitrol gets dangerous. Some addicts will combat the Vivitrol shot by taking precariously larger amounts of opiates, so that they can overpower the Vivitrol and experience the high. This creates a very real risk of overdose. Many people have lost their lives due to the fact they thought they had their addiction beaten with Vivitrol. Then, when they do experience cravings, they continued to take massive amounts of opiates, leading to unexpected overdoses.

If you have had any experience with a drug addict, you know they will go above and beyond to get high. So, whereas Vivitrol could potentially close one door, there are still many others available for a drug seeker to explore.

Many opiate addicts on Vivitrol find themselves exploring drugs they never abused before in hopes to get their next fix. Highly addictive drugs such as crack, cocaine and meth find their way into someone’s life because the addict feels the need to get high but cannot use their drug of choice due to the Vivitrol. They seek out new drugs and ultimately find themselves in an even worse condition than before they started the Vivitrol shot.

Opiate receptors are important because that’s where the brain processes pleasure. Many people using the Vivitrol shot experience severe depression because when the Vivitrol blocks the opiate receptors, the brain cannot produce simple pleasures that encourage people to live life drug-free. Side effects from Vivitrol also include stomach pain lasting more than a few days, dark urine, yellowing of the whites of the eyes, tiredness and intense pain in the injection site. Vivitrol may also cause liver damage or Hepatitis.

The best way to beat a drug addiction is to address the underlining issues that cause someone to use and abuse drugs. If someone has not handled the physical, mental, emotional and underlying aspects behind their addiction, anything he or she tries will essentially be a band-aid on a broken arm.

Narconon is a long-term rehabilitation facility that addresses these underlying issues so addiction can be a thing of the past. If you or someone you know needs help, please call us.



Aaron has been writing drug education articles and documenting the success of the Narconon program for over two years.