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How Psychiatrists Use Vivitrol Injections
Vivitrol injection are one of several treatment options for addiction and substance abuse. Vivitrol blocks the effects of drugs like opioids and can help prevent relapse. Psychiatrists use Vivitrol as one of multiple tools in a patient’s personalized treatment plan. Vivitrol is not a magical cure for addiction and is not the right option for everyone.
Vivitrol injections are used to prevent relapse in individuals who have stopped drinking or abusing opioids. They are not the first line of treatment. Psychiatrists prescribe Vivitrol injections to patients who are at a high risk of relapse. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, roughly half of all addicts relapse within the first year of treatment. These relapses place patients at a very high risk of death.
Vivitrol injections are given by a licensed nurse or doctor in a clinic setting. The injection goes straight into the muscle. A Vivitrol regimen includes injections once every four weeks. Skipping or delaying Vivitrol injections is never advised, as it can interfere with the medicine’s effectiveness.
A psychiatrist will only prescribe Vivitrol if the patient is able to adhere to the medicine’s schedule and commits to a comprehensive treatment program. Those on Vivitrol are more sensitive to opioids and can overdose more easily if drug use does not cease.
Vivitrol should not be given to those who still have opioids or alcohol in their system. With opioids, a patient must first prove they have been sober for more than a week by passing a urine test. Patients must not be experiencing withdrawal symptoms during Vivitrol treatment. A psychiatrist will discuss these boundaries with the patient before moving ahead with Vivitrol.
Vivitrol must be the patient’s decision
Psychiatrists may highly recommend Vivitrol for certain patients. However, the decision to start a Vivitrol regimen must ultimately come from the patient. Those with ambivalent feelings may need to spend more time discussing their feelings with their doctors before coming to a decision.
Patients commonly have concerns about using Vivitrol or similar drugs. They may be unwilling to change their current treatment plan or be unaware of the advantages of Vivitrol. There can be concern over judgment from family or reluctance to admit the possibility of relapse at all. Psychiatrists will discuss these concerns with their patients before adding Vivitrol to a treatment plan.
Vivitrol injections are not, and should not, be considered a magic cure for addiction. Physically blocking a patient’s ability to get high can be a useful tool for helping them get free of substance abuse. However, not everyone is well-suited to Vivitrol treatments, and other medications such as methadone or buprenorphine may be considered.
Vivitrol works as a physical method of blocking the effects of opioids. It can also diminish one’s desire for alcohol. However, it does not do anything to treat the psychological problems that often come with substance abuse. Patients on Vivitrol can also be enrolled in more comprehensive treatment plans, which often include therapy and frequent check-ins.
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