A Guide to Vivitrol Treatment in Illinois

A Guide to Vivitrol Treatment in Illinois

Two of the most challenging addictions to beat are those involving opioids and alcohol. Not only do both substances produce painful withdrawal symptoms, but they also burden recovering individuals with incessant cravings that make staying sober difficult. Fortunately, individuals who are addicted to opioids or alcohol may qualify for Vivitrol treatment in Illinois. Vivitrol is used as a part of a comprehensive medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program involving medication management, behavioral therapy, and peer support.

As a highly effective and relatively safe treatment medication, it is important to understand how Vivitrol works, what side effects it may cause, and what treatment with Vivitrol is like in Champaign, Illinois.

An Overview of Vivitrol (Naltrexone)

Vivitrol is a once-monthly injection that contains an extended-release formulation of naltrexone. Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist, meaning it blocks the effects of opioids on the brain, helps reduce drug cravings, and heals the brain from the effects of addiction. Researchers also believe naltrexone is useful in treating alcoholism because it changes how the brain responds to and comprehends alcohol consumption and cravings. As a result, Vivitrol is approved for the treatment of alcohol use disorder and opioid use disorder.[1]

Vivitrol is not used to treat opioid or alcohol withdrawal. In fact, administering naltrexone too early while patients are still detoxing can be dangerous. Taking a dose too early can result in worsening withdrawal symptoms and other complications. Instead, patients must be fully detoxed before starting Vivitrol.[2]


Vivitrol Administration and Side Effects

common symptoms of vivitrol

serious symptoms of vivitrol

Vivitrol is an injection that is administered once a month in the buttocks. It is injected into the muscle and slowly releases naltrexone throughout the body over the course of the month. As with most other intramuscular injections, Vivitrol’s most common side effect is redness, irritation, pain, and itching at the injection site. Injection site reactions typically go away on their own within a couple of days.[3]

Other side effects of Vivitrol are:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Restlessness
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased thirst
  • Generalized weakness

These side effects are fairly common, minor, and subside within a week or so. However, other more serious symptoms that require medical attention may also occur, such as:

  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Allergic reaction
  • Sores or blisters around the injection site

Fortunately, these more severe side effects are far less common and rarely occur in the general population.

What is Vivitrol Treatment Like in Illinois?

Vivitrol is not a standalone treatment approach to opioid and alcohol dependence. It is simply a medication that is intended to be used in combination with behavioral therapy and counseling. Without a comprehensive treatment program. Vivitrol may be ineffective. Here’s what patients can expect during a Vivitrol treatment program in Illinois.

Medical Detox

Since Vivitrol cannot be used during detox or while opioids/alcohol is still in the body, the first step of treatment is medical detox. Medical detox can provide alternative medications, like Suboxone, Subutex, or benzodiazepines to help patients stay safe and comfortable during withdrawal.

During detox in Illinois, patients are monitored for their safety at all hours of the day. The staff of doctors, nurses, and addiction specialists will be available to provide any support that is needed.

Once patients are fully detoxed and they have abstained from alcohol and opioids for 7-10 days, their doctor may consider giving them the Vivitrol shot.

Medication Management

After detox, eligible patients will present for their first Vivitrol injection. The shot is administered intramuscularly in the buttocks every 28-30 days. Shortly after receiving the injection, patients are monitored for any potential reactions. Then, they are sent on their way to participate in therapy and the recovery process.

Even though the shot is only given once a month, patients will have weekly appointments with their doctor to discuss any side effects or problems with the medication. The longer a person stays on Vivitrol, the less frequent these doctor visits may become.

Behavioral Therapy, Counseling, and Peer Support

Vivitrol and other medication-assisted treatment (MAT) medications are most effective when they are combined with an evidence-based treatment program. While taking Vivitrol at rehab in Illinois, patients are required to participate in group, individual, and holistic counseling sessions. Some of the different types of therapies that are often used to support Vivitrol treatment include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
  • Relapse prevention
  • Psychoeducation
  • Family behavior therapy
  • Motivational Interviewing (MI)
  • Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)
  • Trauma & PTSD therapy
  • Mental health counseling
  • 12-Step facilitation
  • Holistic therapies

Combining multiple different therapeutic approaches will help patients fully heal from the effects of substance abuse. While Vivitrol helps keep cravings away, therapy and counseling help patients learn how to live a life of sobriety. Using both evidence-based therapies and medication-assisted treatment (MAT), rehab programs in Illinois are able to provide an effective and individualized treatment approach.

Start Vivitrol Treatment in Champaign, Illinois Today

Here at Navis Health, our rehab center in Champaign, Illinois utilizes Vivitrol and other treatment medications that can help you get sober and stay sober. When combined with nutritional guidance, detox support, and behavioral therapy, you may find that Vivitrol is the extra aspect your recovery needs to be successful.

To learn more about Vivitrol treatment in Illinois or to figure out if Vivitrol is right for you, pick up the phone and give us a call today.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2565602/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4331107/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6313374/

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