Vivitrol Treatment in Oregon

Person with drink in hand offering it to another who is indicating ‘no’ with hand

Understanding Alcohol Use Disorder

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a medical condition that affects the brain, impairing a person’s ability to stop or limit their alcohol consumption despite the adverse effects of its excess use. Commonly called alcoholism, this disorder can be mild, moderate, or severe and causes physical changes in the brain that may be reversed. Several factors make individuals more susceptible to developing AUD. They include:

Youth Drinking Habits

National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that adults who start drinking regularly before age 15 were over five times more likely to engage in AUD behavior compared to those who waited until at least age 21.

Genetics and Family History

Certain genes, including ADH1B and ALDH2, indicate a strong link to AUD due to their relationship to metabolizing alcohol. Equally important is the environment. Growing up in a household where AUD was prevalent may also contribute to a person developing the condition.

Mental Health

Trauma and many other psychiatric conditions, such as anxiety and depression, often occur alongside AUD and other addictions as coping mechanisms.

Understanding Opioid Use Disorder

Opioids are chemicals that affect the body’s opioid receptors, effectively reducing pain. They can also induce drowsiness, mental confusion, euphoria, nausea, and constipation. This class of drugs is highly addictive and opioid use disorder (OUD) can happen to anyone who uses an opioid just once. The increasingly alarming opioid addiction and death rates in the United States prompted the declaration of a nationwide Public Health Emergency in 2017.

Many signs of OUD are similar to those found in people suffering from AUD. Unique symptoms of OUD include:

  • Increased tolerance to opioids over time, requiring increased amounts to feel its effects
  • Unsuccessful efforts to cut opioid consumption
  • Strong, seemingly uncontrollable craving for opioids
  • Withdrawal symptoms if suddenly stop using
  • Spending excessive time and resources obtaining and using the drug
  • Neglect and inability to fulfill daily personal and professional obligations

What Is Vivitrol?

No matter how they began, AUD and OUD find an effective treatment in Vivitrol. This is the brand name of the injectable prescription drug, naltrexone. It is approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat AUD and OUD. The Vivitrol injection is considered a narcotic blocker because it blocks receptors in the nervous system from feeling the perceived pleasure effects of alcohol or opioids.

Vivitrol is an extended-release formula, meaning the dosage stays active in the body for a time. A 380 mg Vivitrol shot only needs to be administered by a healthcare professional once a month, making it a convenient and relatively easy treatment regime for patients.

How Does Vivitrol Work for AUD?

Vivitrol for alcohol works by blocking endorphin receptors in the nervous system from feeling the positive effects of alcohol, thereby reducing cravings. It is critical that a person be completely detoxified and not dependent on alcohol or any drugs before beginning Vivitrol treatment.

How Does Vivitrol Work for OUD?

Taking Vivitrol for opioids blocks the body’s natural opioid receptors, eliminating the drug’s euphoric effects. Vivitrol suppresses opioid cravings, minimizing the potential for relapse. In the case of relapse, Vivitrol prevents the sensation of being ‘high’. Pilot programs in the U.S. show Vivitrol to have an 88% success rate when coupled with outpatient counseling.

Vivitrol should only be administered once a person has been detoxified from opioids for at least 10 days and is not addicted to drugs of any kind. In addition to Vivitrol, Renascent Rx can prescribe Sublocade and buprenorphine treatment plans for OUD.

Find Help for Drug Dependency at Renascent Rx

Renascent Rx cares about public health and helping individuals who need post-treatment services for alcohol and opioid dependency. In addition to Vivitrol prescription plans, the pharmacy offers virtual, holistic psychotherapy and curated Hepatitis C treatment to patients across Oregon.

The professional and empathic staff has years of combined medical and mental health experience assisting patients along the maintenance phase of recovery. Contact Renascent Rx today to schedule a telehealth consultation for a Vivitrol shot in Oregon.