Vivitrol is the brand name for an FDA-approved prescription injection called naltrexone, which is used to help reduce cravings for alcohol, opioids, and prescription drugs in patients who have completed a detox program but are still struggling with drug or alcohol cravings. Cravings can last for weeks, months, or even years after a person has been sober. Medications like Vivitrol are commonly used to combat these cravings and help patients in their recovery and sobriety. When combined with a complete addiction care schedule, Vivitrol treatment is highly effective.

What Is Vivitrol?

At Banyan Treatment Centers Chicago, we offer Vivitrol for addiction treatment patients who want to fight off drug or alcohol cravings that would benefit the most from this therapy. Also known by the brand name naltrexone, Vivitrol is a medication used to block the effects of opioids like heroin, morphine, and oxycodone, including the euphoria that occurs when these drugs are abused. This medication is part of our Chicago rehab programs for certain clients who require additional support for cravings.

Vivitrol is most successful when it is regulated, monitored, and used alongside professional drug or alcohol addiction treatment. If you’re recovering from addiction or have been sober, you don’t have to battle cravings on your own. If you are interested in Banyan’s Vivitrol treatment in Chicago, reach out to us to learn more about prescribing requirements, benefits, and possible side effects.

Is Vivitrol the Same as Suboxone?

Vivitrol and Suboxone are both medications used in the treatment of opioid use disorder, but they have different active ingredients and mechanisms of action.

  • Vivitrol:
    • Active Ingredient: Naltrexone
    • Mechanism of Action: Vivitrol is an extended-release injectable form of naltrexone, an opioid receptor antagonist. It blocks the effects of opioids by binding to opioid receptors in the brain, reducing cravings and preventing the euphoric effects of opioids.
    • Dosage Form: Vivitrol is administered as a once-monthly injection.
    • Function: It is used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan to support individuals in maintaining abstinence from opioids.
  • Suboxone:
    • Active Ingredients: Buprenorphine and Naloxone
    • Mechanism of Action: Suboxone is a combination medication containing buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist, and naloxone, an opioid antagonist. Buprenorphine activates the opioid receptors to a lesser extent than full opioids, helping to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Naloxone is included to discourage misuse; if Suboxone is injected, the naloxone component can precipitate withdrawal symptoms.
    • Dosage Form: Suboxone is typically available as a sublingual (under the tongue) film or tablet.
    • Function: Suboxone is used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to help individuals reduce or eliminate their dependence on opioids. It can be used for both detoxification and maintenance therapy.

While both medications are used in the treatment of opioid use disorder, the choice between Vivitrol and Suboxone depends on various factors, including individual patient characteristics, preferences, and treatment goals. Each medication has its advantages and considerations, and the decision is often made in consultation with a healthcare provider as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.

Vivitrol Prescribing Requirements

To receive a Vivitrol injection, patients must be completely sober and cannot have an active addiction. Vivitrol might not be for everyone. Patients can take Vivitrol for alcohol abuse or opioid cravings.

Clients must undergo a complete medically supervised detox to take Vivitrol and benefit from its effects. If the individual is actively using opioids, taking painkillers, or drinking alcohol while taking Vivitrol, they can experience harmful side effects and increase their risk of overdose.

After completing medical detox, some patients can take Vivitrol as part of their opiate addiction treatment or alongside other programs. While it’s an effective way to prevent relapse, treat cravings, and treat addiction, patients will need to undergo additional therapies during their Vivitrol treatment.

How Does Vivitrol Work?

Vivitrol works by blocking the brain from absorbing drugs like opioids, which helps to reduce drug cravings during substance abuse treatment. It works by blocking effects like euphoria and sedation that the central nervous system experiences when opioids or alcohol are ingested. Vivitrol binds to the receptors in the brain that would normally absorb these substances, protecting the brain from intoxication.

Vivitrol shots are effective at preventing alcohol and opioid cravings, helping patients stay sober. We offer Vivitrol alongside other programs and therapies at our Chicago addiction treatment center. Because you must stop using opioids and drinking alcohol on Vivitrol, the medication cannot keep a person sober on its own and requires the support of additional care to help the person maintain their sobriety.

Although Vivitrol helps block cravings, it doesn’t confront the other components of relapse like social constraints or other environmental influences. A full program - like our Chicago PHP or IOP - is needed to help a person fully recover from their addiction. Vivitrol is only one step in the recovery process.

How to Get Vivitrol in Chicago

Vivitrol must be prescribed by a doctor or medical professional. Not everyone will meet the Vivitrol prescribing requirements, so it’s important to discuss the possibility of receiving this treatment with a doctor or qualified medical professional.

Our Chicago rehab center offers Vivitrol treatment for patients who may benefit from this method to control and prevent their drug or alcohol cravings. Every patient will be assessed to decide whether they can gain from this treatment and identify the best form of treatment for them.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction and cravings, contact Banyan Treatment Centers to learn more about our options for rehab, detox, and relapse prevention.


Not all programs available at all locations. Please contact the location for availability.

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At Banyan Chicago our goal is to make sure that anyone who needs treatment from drug and alcohol addiction are able to get the help needed to assist them on the road to recovery. If you don't have insurance contact us to inquire about alternate methods regarding treatment for yourself or a loved one.

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