New Hope Recovery Center has been administering Vivitrol, a once monthly injection, for the past year with positive results.  It has been extremely helpful for our clients struggling with addiction to opiates including heroin, Oxycontin, Vicodin and other opiate prescription drugs.

What is Vivitrol?  Why try it?

Vivitrol is an injectable formulation of Naltrexone.  Vivitrol is given as an intramuscular injection in the upper buttocks and is a thick solution, which may cause some temporary discomfort.  Naltrexone, a pure opiate blocker, has been available for years as a once daily pill.  Vivitrol acts directly on the brain’s opiate receptors, preventing the physical effects of heroin, Oxycodone, Norco and other forms of opiates and has the added effect of biochemically decreasing cravings.  Vivitrol is NOT an Opiate, is NOT addictive and does NOT cause withdrawal as it metabolizes in the system.

How much does it cost?

Much has been written about the expense of Vivitrol.  The majority of our clients find the cost covered 100% by their health insurance and financial support has also been available.  Alkermes, the maker of Vivitrol, and Touchpoints’ Support Services reimbursement specialists, have been very supportive through assistance in obtaining Vivitrol for our clients from insurance specific pharmacies and providing financial support.

When can Vivitrol be used? 

In the past year, New Hope Recovery Center clients that identify as Opiate Dependent upon admission have been counseled on the benefits of Vivitrol. Individuals must be opiate free 7 – 10 days before having Vivitrol administered and as the ordering process can take some time, Vivitrol usage is discussed early in the treatment process. Clients with legal consequences, and those with repeated failed attempts to stay sober, have been the most eager to use Vivitrol. The court systems as well as probation officers have looked positively on clients choosing Vivitrol.

What has prevented clients from trying Vivitrol?

The majority of our clients are interested in using Vivitrol.  However, we find some are confused about the difference between Suboxone and Vivitrol. Some are concerned with the cost, which we have found to be generally covered for most clients, while those clients who are hesitant to taking Vivitrol may have an unspoken reserved desire to use again.  For these clients, it is helpful to point out the huge reduction in cravings that occurs.  Additionally, we find having our Vivitrol clients discuss their experience with each other can be helpful.

Results from using Vivitrol

New Hope Recovery Center clients receive their first injection while in treatment whether Residential Day Treatment (RDT) or Intensive Outpatient (IOP) and are given the option to receive subsequent injections at New Hope Recovery Center as an Alumni. Since beginning to administer Vivitrol at New Hope, not a single client has relapsed on any drug or alcohol within the 30 days of their Injection and all of our Vivitrol clients completed treatment successfully.  Some clients have received one injection and not returned for subsequent injections.  However, most clients have returned for repeat injections.

The overwhelming message has been that receiving the injection did the following: (1) took the option to use opiates out of their thoughts, (2) their cravings subsided, (3) recovery from their obsession took hold, (3) and trust in their recovery grew more rapidly than expected.

New Hope Recovery Center is very encouraged by the results using Vivitrol for opioid dependence in combination with treatment and 12-Step recovery.  We expect to share further results in the future.

New Hope Recovery Center has extensive experience treating addiction to opiates, including heroin, Vicodin and Oxycontin.  If you or someone you love is addicted to these life-threatening drugs, please get help immediately.  You can reach New Hope Recovery Center by phone at 773-883-3916 or via email at

Written By: New Hope Recovery Center