Relapse Prevention – Vivitrol & ReVia
“These medications strongly enhance the ability of patients to consistently change behavior. Often for the first time along a previously bumpy road to recovery. These medications play a primary role in the management of young adults, and all individuals who are still contemplating whether sobriety and clean living is achievable and necessary.” –Dr. Paul Conti
Hazelden’s team of medical professionals at Beaverton is experienced with the use of several relapse prevention medications, including Vivitrol (depo-Naltrexone) and ReVia (oral Naltrexone.)
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Relapse occurs when an addicted person returns to using drugs or alcohol. Science has determined that relapse occurs primarily due to chemical signaling of the brain, in combination with emotional stressors and recollection of positive feelings associated with drug or alcohol use. This complex process explains why alcoholics and addicts struggle to remain abstinent in spite of the negative consequences of their drug or alcohol use.
Vivitrol is an injectable form of the medication Naltrexone. One injection monthly results in sustained activity on the parts of the brain that lure an alcoholic or opiate addict into relapse. One injection provides this benefit for the whole month. The medication occupies the part of the brain that reinforces the desire to drink or use opiate medications. In fact, for opiate addicts, there is the added security of complete blockade of opiate receptors in the brain, a very powerful protective factor.
Medical research has shown Vivitrol to be preferable to oral Naltrexone, since once-monthly administration as opposed to daily oral dosing greatly enhances compliance, therefore greatly enhancing safety and likelihood of successful recovery.
Also, our medical professionals have observed marked improvement in mood associated with use of Vivitrol and in patients who are non-compliant with oral Naltrexone. It is hypothesized that occupying the opioid receptors in the brain of addicted patients positively benefits the brain dopamine system, leading to enhanced mood in the absence of the drug of addiction.
We encourage additional research about these medications by patients and their families:
Please contact us to schedule an evaluation and determine if relapse prevention medications are an appropriate part of a medical care plan for you or a loved one.