Treating Alcohol Addiction with Vivitrol (Naltrexone): We Answer All Your Questions

Being addicted to alcohol affects your physical body and your brain, gradually destroying your quality of life. Recovery from an alcohol addiction is possible, and to increase to your success, you may want to consider one of the comprehensive treatment plans Dr. Sherman offers.

While plans are customized to meet your specific needs, many include a combination of behavior modification, therapy, and in some cases, medications like Vivitrol®.

The addiction of alcohol

When addicted to alcohol, your brain experiences a frequent urge to drink and releases pleasure-enhancing chemicals, known as endorphins; then the urge is satisfied.

In turn, endorphins create dopamine, another pleasure chemical that is linked to the insistent urge to pour another drink.

Basics of Vivitrol

Vivitrol is an extended-release form of naltrexone, a non-addictive opioid receptor antagonist that can reduce your urge to drink heavily. It’s also effective in treating opioid addictions. The injectable medication is given once a month and, together with counseling, has proven effective in alleviating the craving to drink.

It works by changing the way your brain responds to alcohol, blocking endorphins before they attach to the cells in your brain. This action prevents the release of dopamine, reducing the pleasure associated with drinking.

With consistent treatment, Vivitrol can make it easier to abstain, as there is less pleasure in taking a drink.

What to expect with Vivitrol treatment

Vivitrol should be used only if you have already quit drinking for at least two weeks and have been through the detoxification process. The monthly injections make it easy for you to follow through with Dr. Sherman’s recommended treatment plan, as there’s no need to remember to take a daily pill.

While generally safe when used as recommended, Vivitrol injections can cause a reaction at the site of injection, causing swelling and tissue damage. You can learn more about specific risks based on your medical history during the initial consultation.

Other side effects of Vivitrol, especially in your early treatment, including nausea, vomiting, and headaches. You may also experience:

Dr. Sherman can monitor your overall physical and mental health through regular follow-up visits after starting you on Vivitrol therapy.

Complimenting therapy

Recovering from an addiction to alcohol is a journey that lasts a lifetime. When used in conjunction with recommended therapies, Vivitrol can help you put an end to drinking for good. Together, both treatment options have been shown effective in preventing relapse by significantly reducing your desire to drink.

Additionally, finding the right network of support to go along with your medications and therapy is important for continued success in recovery. Vivitrol becomes just a small part of that support network, helping you to worry less about your cravings while you work toward fixing the underlying causes that led to excessive drinking.

To find out if Vivitrol is the right treatment option for your addiction to alcohol, schedule a private consultation with Dr. Sherman by phone or using the convenient online booking feature.

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