Addiction Treatment With Vivitrol in New Jersey

Vivitrol treatment

Addiction is a complex disorder that requires comprehensive medical and psychiatric treatment. Medications like Vivitrol are used as part of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to help people overcome addictions to alcohol and/or opioids. When combined with an individualized addiction treatment program, Vivitrol can help people live sober, fulfilling lives.

What is Vivitrol?

Vivitrol is a brand-name extended-release formulation of naltrexone that comes in the form of an intramuscular injection which is administered once monthly. The medication is administered to individuals struggling with addiction who are trying to recover from an addiction to alcohol or opioids.

Vivitrol was initially approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006 to treat alcohol use disorder.[1] In 2010, its FDA approval was extended to be used in the treatment of opioid use disorder. Clinical trials revealed that people who used counseling alongside Vivitrol to treat substance use disorder had a 25% reduction in the number of heavy drinking days.[2]

Understanding Naltrexone

Naltrexone is an opioid receptor antagonist that is used to treat alcohol and opioid use disorders.[3] It is available in a pill form that is taken on a daily basis, however, Vivitrol is the first extended-release formulation of the drug.

Naltrexone works by binding to opioid receptor sites in the body without causing feelings of euphoria like opioids do. Instead, it stops the euphoria and sedation that central nervous system depressants like opioids and alcohol cause. This mechanism of action accomplishes two things:

  1. Reduces cravings for drugs and alcohol
  2. Preventing feelings of euphoria if opioids are taken

These two features, combined with therapy, can reduce the risk of relapse for people in recovery.

How Does The Vivitrol Shot Work?

People must detox from opioids or alcohol first before starting Vivitrol. Taking the medication too early while the body is still physically dependent on opioids can result in severe side effects known as precipitated withdrawal. As a result, individuals should be closely monitored at a medical detox facility or by a healthcare provider for 7-10 days before receiving their first injection.

Once detoxed, patients will visit their doctor to get their first shot. Prior to receiving the shot, patients will receive a physical examination, a liver function test, and undergo toxicological screenings to ensure opioids are no longer in the system. 

Vivitrol injections must be prepared and administered by healthcare professionals as an intramuscular (IM) injection. The recommended dose is 380mg each month and the injection is administered in the buttocks.[1] The shot provides the body with a steady dose of naltrexone that lasts for up to a month.

After 28-30 days, patients must return to their healthcare provider for their next injection.

Vivitrol Side Effects

All medications cause side effects, but the side effects associated with Vivitrol are minimal, and most go away within a couple of days or weeks after receiving the injection. The most common side effects are injection site reactions such as:[4]

  • Redness
  • Bruising
  • Irritation
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Discomfort

These symptoms are isolated to the injection site and are completely normal reactions. As the medication is slowly used up in the body, the injection site reactions will subside. However, if these symptoms get worse or persist for more than two weeks, patients should speak with their doctor.

Other common side effects of the Vivitrol shot include:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite

As previously mentioned, people cannot start taking Vivitrol until they have completely detoxed from opioids. Starting the medication too early can result in sudden and severe opioid withdrawal symptoms (such as anxiety, vomiting, diarrhea, mood changes, and hallucinations.)

What to Expect During Addiction Treatment With Vivitrol

Vivitrol, like other medications used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT), is most effective when combined with a comprehensive substance abuse treatment program that uses behavioral therapy, counseling, and peer support. Many addiction treatment centers offer Vivitrol injections to qualified candidates during and after treatment.

While Vivitrol can help reduce cravings and the risk for relapse, it does not treat the root causes of addiction. To achieve long-term recovery, patients should actively participate in group counseling, individual therapy, and peer support groups such as the 12-Steps. Therapy and peer support provide a foundation for recovery that medications cannot.

Addiction treatment typically consists of:

  • Behavioral therapy
  • Holistic therapies
  • Family counseling
  • Medication management
  • Case management
  • Aftercare planning

Individuals should never stop taking Vivitrol without speaking with their doctor about doing so. Quitting the medication before one is ready to do so can result in a relapse.

Find a Vivitrol Treatment and Recovery Program in New Jersey Today

Vivitrol may not be right for everyone, so it’s always important to consult with a medical provider before starting a new medication. If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction to alcohol or opioids, a Vivitrol treatment program in New Jersey may be right for you. Contact a team member at Moving Mountains Recovery today to learn more about your treatment options and get started on your recovery.



Related Posts

6 Warning Signs of Relapse

Maintaining long-term sobriety from addiction is never easy. People must continuously practice their recovery maintenance techniques without cutting any slack. When someone does slack in their recovery, they put themselves at risk of suffering from a relapse. ...

Stereotypes About Addiction and Why They Are Dangerous

Addiction is a common disease that affects about 10% of Americans.[1] Despite addiction being so prevalent in our country, the attitude around this condition is not always supportive or understanding. Many people still believe in stereotypes and the stigma surrounding...

Hydrocodone Addiction: Signs Symptoms and Treatment

Hydrocodone is an opioid medication used to treat pain. This substance belongs to a class of drugs known as narcotic analgesics (opioids) and acts on the central nervous system in the brain. While this medication helps treat severe cases of pain, it is also known to...

Can My Family Visit Me During Rehab in New Jersey?

Going to rehab for an addiction can be extremely scary, primarily if you’ve never attended addiction treatment. While giving up drugs and alcohol is distressing, inpatient treatment programs also require you to take time away from your family and friends.  Being...

How to Choose an Opioid Rehab Center in New Jersey

10.1 million people abused a prescription opioid last year and more than 1.6 million people have an opioid use disorder.[1] While treatable, opioid addiction is extremely difficult to overcome due to the withdrawal symptoms that appear when people quit and the ways in...

Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Bipolar Disorder and Addiction

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood changes, including emotional highs and lows. People who struggle with this condition may experience mania (emotional highs) for weeks to months on end until they crash, leading to emotional lows...

What Can I Expect During Benzodiazepine Rehab in New Jersey?

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), over 40 million adults in America suffer from an anxiety disorder.[1] One of the most commonly prescribed medications for anxiety is benzodiazepines and many Americans take these substances daily. ...

Should I Go Back to Rehab After Relapse?

Drug addiction and alcoholism are complex and progressive diseases that require constant dedication and practice to recover. If you suffer from a substance use disorder, you know that attending professional treatment is the best way to learn how to maintain long-term...

What is a Sober Living Home and How Can it Help Me Stay Sober?

Recovery from drug addiction or alcoholism is a lifelong journey. If you decided to enter addiction treatment, you’ve made the first and most important step. However, recovery from substance abuse doesn’t end once you’ve completed residential or outpatient addiction...

Is it Okay to Go to Rehab More Than Once?

Addiction to drugs and alcohol can have a significant, negative impact on every aspect of your life. From your mental and physical health to finances and social life, addiction takes a toll that can last years–or a lifetime.  Addiction is a complex condition....

Take The First Step to a New Life

Transform daydreams into realities

Moving Mountains takes a whole-person approach to recovery by offering a continuum of care, clinically proven treatments, and holistic healing. We work closely with you to identify your unique needs, facilitate individualized treatments, and help you establish a foundation upon which your recovery--and the rest of your life--can grow. Our compassionate, friendly staff is available 24-hours a day to take your call and help you begin your recovery journey.


Combatting the ever-growing drug epidemic that this country faces begins with you. Make the most of our vast knowledge of addiction treatment and our proven ability to change lives. Let's Move Mountains together.  Take the first step towards a new, better life by giving us a call today.

Begin RecoveryVerify Insurance

Get Addiction Help Now
(973) 397-5055
Representatives available now.