Is Vivitrol A Miracle Cure For Opiate Addiction?

by AdamS on September 13, 2012

According to data published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, more than 23.5 million Americans suffer from drug or alcohol addiction. That staggering number means that approximately 10% of Americans over the age of 12 are addicted to alcohol or drugs, it is also roughly the same number as the population of Texas. For many Americans, addiction to drugs or alcohol is a problem they will never be able to escape from. However, a new drug has been approved for use on individuals who are recovering from opiate addiction. Individuals recovering from opiate abuse and going through opiate rehab now have the opportunity to get treated with Vivitrol. While doctors and scientists hate the term “miracle drug”, it seems that Vivitrol is exactly that to some addicts.

What Exactly is Vivitrol?

Vivitrol is the brand name for a naltrexone injectable medication. It has been used to treat alcohol dependence for several years and recently was approved to help treat individuals recovering from an opiate addiction. Vivitrol is only available for patients over the age of 18 and has to be administered by a medical professional. The drug is injected intramuscularly into the patient once every four weeks and works to bind to the opioid receptors in the body and block the craving and effects of drugs like methadone and heroin.

Potential Side Effects

There are some serious side effects of taking Vivitrol including reactions at the site of the injection, liver damage, and hepatitis. The tissue surrounding the injection site may even die (necrosis) and have to be surgically removed. Also the medicine is not recommended for people who have used opioids within the last 10 days leading up to treatment of Vivitrol as it can cause serious allergic reactions. However the most common side effects are less severe, which include nausea, headache, tiredness, loss of appetite and muscle cramps.

Life Changing For Some

One person who has made some headlines recently is Nicole Kapulsky, who has recovered from her heroin addiction by using Vivitrol and swears by it. Kapulsky a 35 year-old mother lost everything when she became addicted to opiates in 2009 and could not find a treatment that worked for her. She turned to Vivitrol and has been clean for 19 months, saying the medication saved her life. She no longer even thinks about heroin or other drugs anymore and claims to have her life back in order.

Today, in the United States, more than 23.5 million people are suffering from addiction to drugs or alcohol. With help from medications like Vivitrol, that number can be reduced. Vivitrol is claimed to be the “miracle drug” by some when it comes to breaking the cycle of opiate abuse. People who have recently gone through opiate rehab are now finding a way to stay clean for good, and they only have to take the medicine once a month. Check out to read more about opiate abuse in the United States.

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