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FDA Approves Vivitrol for Opiate Addiction

There is exciting news for drug treatment center physicians and the prescription drug addicts they treat. In November, the Food and Drug Administration gave the green light for use of Vivitrol for the treatment of opiate addiction.  This is an injectable medication that has been shown to be a very useful tool in opiate addiction.  It is not only proving to work well with painkiller addictions like hydrocodone, the studies also show favorable results in treating other opiates including heroin.  Vivitrol had previously been approved for the treatment of alcoholism.

Vivitrol is time-released and blocks brain receptors from feeling the effects of the opiates.  When the user no longer has that mental reward system responding, cravings for narcotics will usually subside.  One of the studies was completed in Russia and found that the drug, when compared with a placebo injection, was 50% more effective for keeping someone suffering from an opiate addiction off the drug. This is an example of just one controlled study completed by researchers. 

The major issue currently surrounding this wonderful breakthrough in opiate addiction is the cost.  Most insurance companies simply refuse to pay for the injection.  It costs about $1000 a month and treatment could continue for up to a year…if not more depending on individual need.  Perhaps with the approval of the FDA, the drug will become more widely available and may soon come down in price, allowing insurance companies to give the “OK” for patients to receive the monthly injections and care at an inpatient or outpatient treatment center without the added stress of worrying about the cost of their treatment.  A doctor in the Texas area who specializes in recovery commented that the FDA decision will help get the medication where it needs to be and may help with the price.

The medication is also available in pill form, but there can be issues with that.  Someone suffering from opiate addiction needs to make smart choices to wake up every day and take that pill.  In many cases, they will pass on taking the medication and continue using drugs without external supports and counseling.  It is critical that whatever method of detoxification and treatment is chosen each is   complimented with expert care and counseling typically provided at a treatment center.  Group therapies, scheduled programs, meditation, massage and counseling are some of the treatment options available at Vista Taos Treatment Center.  Combined therapies are beneficial because they approach the addiction from all aspects to help in recovery through mind, body and spirit.

With drug use rates on the rise in states like Texas, along with many others, the need for a solid treatment program is dire.  Vivitrol is certainly not a magic treatment.  A person needs to be willing and able to take Vivitrol as prescribed, under the monitoring of a physician, but the individual must realize that counseling and other therapies provided by a licensed treatment professional are just as important as the medicinal side of treatment.  If you are willing to accept therapy as a part of your life and embrace it, you have a brighter future ahead.  If you expect this medication or other medications for opiate addiction like methadone to do all the work for you, you will have a much higher chance of relapse. 

Understand that recovery from opiate addiction is a difficult path to journey down, but there are therapies, both holistic and medicinal that has been studied and proven to help this addiction.  A treatment center or a trusted family physician is always the first place to start when you or a loved one are in need of addiction assistance.  For the determined and the optimistic, recovery can be a reality.  For more information on how you can get opiate addiction assistance or any addiction counseling at a treatment center that focuses on healing the body as a whole, please contact Vista Taos Renewal Center toll free at: 877-772-2616.

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COVID-19 update: The health and safety of our clients at Vista Taos is our top priority. Each person admitted to our program will be given a PCR Covid screen upon entry and subsequently will follow our isolation protocol as we await the results.
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