What to Expect From a Vivitrol Treatment Program in Los Angeles

Medication-assisted treatment is an evidence-based approach to treat addiction. Among the clinically studied and approved medicines that can be used in MAT is Vivitrol. Vivitrol can help with opioid or alcohol dependence and promote a sustained recovery when it’s used along with a comprehensive treatment plan.

In this article, you will learn:

  • What medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is
  • What Vivitrol is
  • How the Vivitrol shot works
  • What to expect at a Vivitrol treatment program in Los Angeles

An Overview of Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, is an evidence-based approach to treating addiction. In MAT, there’s the use of FDA-approved medicines that are combined with behavioral therapies and counseling to address the complexity of addiction.

MAT works in the following ways:

  • Reduced cravings and withdrawal symptoms: A lot of addictive substances, including alcohol and opioids, lead to physical dependence. When someone isn’t consuming the substance, they then have strong cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Medications used in MAT can block the effects of alcohol or opioids on the brain’s receptors. That reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms, helping to manage early recovery more effectively.
  • Normalized brain function: Prolonged substance abuse disrupts the chemistry of the brain and the neural pathways, which changes behavior, emotional regulation and decision-making. MAT can help normalize brain function, restoring balance to neurotransmitter systems affected by addiction. Normalizing your brain’s function is necessary for long-term recovery and reducing the risk of relapse.
  • Supports therapy: MAT is most effective when combined with therapy, counseling and support groups. These are therapeutic interventions to address mental, environmental, and social factors contributing to addiction. When medication is integrated with counseling, people in MAT programs can gain insight and support as well as coping skills needed for sustained recovery.
  • Reduced overdose and relapse risk: Medication-assisted treatment can significantly reduce overdose and relapse risk. MAT can block opioids’ euphoric effects or reduce alcohol cravings, helping individuals maintain sobriety and break the cycle of addiction-related behaviors.
  • Individualized treatment: MAT can be a tailored treatment approach based on various factors.

Medication-assisted treatment is overall a holistic addiction recovery approach that addresses the psychological and physiological components of a substance use disorder.

What Is a Vivitrol Treatment Program?

Vivitrol is a brand name of naltrexone. It’s used as part of medication-assisted treatment for alcohol or opioid dependence, and it’s in a class of drugs known as opioid antagonists.

Vivitrol blocks the effects of opioids on the brain’s opioid receptors. Opioids include prescription pain medicine like oxycodone and illegal drugs like heroin. When someone takes opioids, they bind to specific brain receptor sites, leading to euphoria and pain relief. When the receptors are blocked, Vivitrol prevents opioids from attaching to them. The effect is a reduction in the pleasurable effects of using opioids.

By blocking opioid receptors, Vivitrol is also able to reduce opioid cravings. Cravings are a big challenge for people who are recovering from opioid addiction. They trigger relapse in many situations, but since Vivitrol diminishes them, it’s easier to abstain from opioid use and focus entirely on recovery.

As well as being used for opioid dependence, the use of a Vivitrol treatment program is also approved for alcohol dependence. It’s thought Vivitrol might reduce alcohol cravings and reduce its reinforcing effects.

Vivitrol is most effective in a complete treatment plan, including counseling, therapy and support groups.

Specifically, some of the things that should be part of a Vivitrol treatment program include:

  • A thorough medical assessment to learn about your physical and mental health, substance use history and co-occurring mental conditions. The evaluation will help to determine if Vivitrol treatment is appropriate for you and will help your care team develop a personalized plan for treating you.
  • The Vivitrol injection is administered by a healthcare provider trained in addiction medicine or primary care. The dosing schedule is tailored to your individual needs. You also follow up with your provider regularly to monitor side effects and progress and adjust your treatment if needed.
  • Counseling and therapy, collectively known as psychosocial support, help with addressing underlying addiction contributors, developing coping skills and learning healthier ways to manage cravings and stress.
  • Participation in support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous provides peer support, accountability and encouragement. You can connect with others who understand what you’re going through and offer empathy and insight.
  • Lifestyle changes, such as healthy eating, good sleep routines and regular exercise, will help promote recovery and support overall well-being.
  • Developing a relapse prevention plan is needed to help anticipate and manage your possible cravings, triggers and high-risk situations. The plan should include strategies to identify relapse warning signs and cope with cravings.
  • Recovery is an ongoing process requiring monitoring, treatment adjustment and support. Regularly checking in with therapists and other care providers can help you stay motivated, accountable and connected in your recovery journey.
  • Coordinated care makes sure your treatment approach is holistic and patient-centered.

How Do You Take Vivitrol?

Vivitrol is given as a monthly injection. You receive a sustained dose of naltrexone over four weeks, eliminating the need to follow a daily medication schedule. It’s a convenient option that gives continuous opioid relapse protection throughout the month.

As is true with any medicine, Vivitrol can cause side effects like nausea, fatigue or headache, but they can often be mitigated or managed.

Many insurance plans offer coverage for Vivitrol treatment, at least partially.

Vivitrol Treatment in Los Angeles

Vivitrol treatment isn’t a cure for addiction, but it is a valuable tool to support long-term recovery.

If you’re looking for Vivitrol treatment in Los Angeles or other types of comprehensive medication-assisted treatment, we can help. Reach out to learn more today.


  1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA): Vivitrol (naltrexone for extended-release injectable suspension)
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): Naltrexone
  3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): Medications for Substance Use Disorders

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