Opioid Use Disorder is a complex and debilitating disease that affects millions of individuals and their families worldwide. The path to detox and recovery can be challenging, but medication-assisted treatments (MAT) like Naltrexone Therapy can give patients an assist when it comes to curbing cravings and staying off opioids.

Naltrexone Therapy, a cornerstone of the Coleman Method for rapid detox and recovery, is often administered using a small implant that releases the medicine gradually over time. However, our addiction medicine experts sometimes recommend an alternative to this method: regular monthly injections of Vivitrol. 

But what are MAT, Naltrexone, and Vivitrol? Read on to learn more about the role they can play in aiding recovery and what you can expect when receiving recurring Vivitrol injections after an opioid detox.

What is Medication-Assisted Treatment?

Medication-assisted treatment is a comprehensive approach to treating opioid addiction, which combines the use of FDA-approved medications with advanced treatment methods and therapy to provide a "whole-patient" strategy. The MAT method is designed to address the needs of individuals undergoing opioid detox and recovery, aiming to stabilize the body, reduce withdrawal symptoms and diminish the addictive urge to use opioids. The emphasis on combining medication with ongoing treatment and support is crucial and offers a more effective and sustainable path to recovery.

MAT has been scientifically proven to improve patient outcomes, increase retention in treatment, decrease illicit opioid use and other criminal activity among people with substance use disorders, and improve the chances of obtaining and maintaining employment. The comprehensive nature of MAT, with its integration of medication and behavioral therapy, offers a holistic approach to detox and recovery.

What is Naltrexone Therapy?

Naltrexone Therapy is a form of MAT primarily used in the management of opioid and alcohol addiction. Naltrexone belongs to a class of drugs known as opioid antagonists and works by binding to the opioid receptors in the brain. But unlike opioids, Naltrexone does not trigger the release of dopamine and does not produce euphoria or pain relief. Its mechanism blocks the effects of opioids at the receptor level, which can significantly reduce cravings and the desire to consume opiates.

Naltrexone Therapy helps block the high that these substances can induce, making it a valuable tool in the opioid recovery process. It is particularly effective for those who have completed detoxification and are hoping to avoid relapse. Naltrexone is also non-addictive, making it a safe option for long-term management of substance dependence.

Before starting Naltrexone Therapy, patients must be free from opioid use for a certain period to avoid precipitating withdrawal symptoms. As with any medication, there are potential side effects, but for many individuals in recovery, the benefits of reduced cravings and the lower risk of relapse far outweigh these concerns. Naltrexone Therapy can offer significant aid to patients seeking to overcome dependence or addiction and reclaim control over their lives from opioids.


What is Vivitrol?

Vivitrol is an extended-release, injectable form of Naltrexone typically administered once a month. The injection provides a continuous blockade against opioids and helps curb cravings in early recovery. Unlike other MAT options, Vivitrol is non-addictive and does not require daily dosing, which can simplify the process and improve medication compliance for many individuals.

If your Accelerated Opioid Detox using the Coleman Method includes a recommendation for Vivitrol injections, you can expect to receive a shot administered monthly in one of our nationwide detox clinics near you. These recurring injections as part of ongoing Naltrexone Therapy include a standard Vivitrol dosage of 380 milligrams with each intramuscular shot.

At the Coleman Institute, we recommend at least 12 months of Naltrexone Therapy for every patient following rapid detox from opioids. This provides individuals with a tool to help limit persistent cravings, blunt the euphoric effects of opiate use if a relapse does occur, and ensure the best chances of sustained recovery and a life free from dependence or addiction.

While Vivitrol is generally well-tolerated, it is not without side effects. Some patients report experiencing nausea, headache, dizziness, and fatigue. More serious side effects such as reactions at the injection site or liver damage are rare and should be reported to a medical professional immediately.

Vivitrol Injections and Long-Term Recovery Success

For many patients and their families who come to the Coleman Institute seeking help, Naltrexone Therapy—often in the form of monthly Vivitrol injections—is a game-changer when it comes to staying in recovery following an opioid detox.

“Our son has been an addict for nearly thirteen years,” writes Charles C., father of a patient who came to the Coleman Institute recently for help with opioid addiction. “He has spent years prescribed to suboxone and more years prescribed to methadone. He has made countless attempts to detox at programs all over as well as at home.”

Charles brought his son to the Coleman Institute for Accelerated Opioid Detox and witnessed firsthand the difference regular monthly Vivitrol injections can make for a person in recovery from opiate use.

“Throughout his detox, he received increasing levels of Naltrexone to the point where his receptors were completely clear prior to receiving a Vivitrol shot upon completion of the program,” Charles said. “Since completing the Coleman program, we’ve experienced our son as we knew him prior to him using opiates. It has been years since we’ve been able to enjoy his true personality. …. The Coleman program hits the reset button for those that are ready to move on with their lives by ending those maintenance programs and sending a patient home with a Vivitrol shot.” 

Charles’ son is just one of the thousands of patients we have treated with the Coleman Method and Naltrexone Therapy, which helps 98% of people successfully complete the detox process.

Change Your Life with Rapid Opioid Detox

If you or someone you know is struggling with Opioid Use Disorder, our team of addiction medicine experts at the Coleman Institute can assess your specific situation and determine if Naltrexone Therapy using Vivitrol Injections is right for you after the initial detox process.

Contact the patient advocates in our Richmond, VA, location or in one of our regional detox clinics around the country to take the first step toward changing your life for the better in long-term recovery. Call us today or request a callback at the link below.