How Does Vivitrol Work and Is It Safe?

Vivitrol: A Safety Net During Opiate Addiction Treatment

Vivitrol: Proven Treatment Option Eliminates Cravings, Withdrawal Symptoms

There’s a new, comprehensive way to treat opiate addiction—once and for all.

Until recently, individuals suffering from opiate abuse had limited treatment options available beyond Narcotics Anonymous. While helpful for some, traditional 12-step programming doesn’t address the underlying causes for many. And why? Because full recovery requires working through the difficult emotions, painful experiences, and unresolved psychological or neurological problems that often lead to substance abuse in the first place.

During the important first year of opiate addiction treatment, the prescription drug Vivitrol eliminates cravings and withdrawal symptoms, providing a safety net so individuals can address the root causes of self-medicating behaviors. Even more, Vivitrol allows individuals to rediscover their purpose in life and learn how to balance the day-to-day demands of professional, social and family life, without the menace of continual opiate cravings.

How Does Vivitrol Works?

Vivitrol is a brand-name, intramuscular injection of naltrexone, a physician-administered medication that binds to and blocks opiate receptors in the body. By walling off these pain receptors, Vivitrol produces two primary results: withdrawal symptoms vanish; and, if opiates are taken, the individual feels no effects—leading many who take it to conclude that buying drugs would be a waste of money.

With those symptoms at bay, a team of doctors, therapists and specialists then conduct a variety of individual therapies such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Brain imaging (SPECT) to identify and address childhood trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder or other emotional triggers for substance abuse. Neurological and biological feedback assessments also are performed throughout treatment to determine its effectiveness, and adjustments may be made, if necessary.

Vivitrol is typically taken for one year, the amount of time the human brain takes to reprogram itself from opiate addiction, and is administered every 28 days. And in addition to opiate addiction, Vivitrol is successful in treating alcohol addiction and impulse-control disorders, which both involve dopamine receptors in the brain.

Benefits Of Vivitrol Treatment

Individuals undergoing treatment for opiate addiction frequently are unsuccessful because of the unbearable physical toll of withdrawal symptoms and ongoing cravings. And as a result, this pain often stands in the way of addressing what caused the addiction in the first place and limits the likelihood of long-term success. Enter Vivitrol. By blocking opiate receptors in the brain, individuals undergoing treatment eliminate their cravings and withdrawal so that they can focus on the underlying issues.

The Crosby Clinic Difference

The Crosby Clinic is a recognized leader in this new approach to treating opiate addiction. Our patients achieve higher-than-average results because we equip them with the tools and life skills they need to recover, all without having to attend meetings to maintain their sobriety. As the most clinically advanced drug rehab facility in California, Crosby’s drug rehab does not teach the traditional 12-step recovery process of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Instead, our clinical approach begins with an accurate diagnosis, supported by the identification of the neurological, psychological and biological factors that drive behaviors.

Our method is simple: First, we accurately diagnose our patients based on advanced brain scanning capabilities and intake evaluations. Then, we identify triggers that cause problematic behavior or emotional stress by closely examining brain activity. Finally, we develop an individualized treatment plan based on each patient’s unique needs and brain activity.

Our well-researched and supported process results in using the least toxic and most effective solutions to overcome the challenges you face. In addition, our financial, legal and career advisors support and prepare patients for life beyond treatment.


“My husband’s prescription dependency all but ruined our marriage. We had been through treatment before but the results were exactly the same. So here is my formal apology…I am so sorry I did not believe you when you said Crosby was different and could help us when all the others did not. You were right! I’m a believer and I have my husband back to prove it.” –Abby G.