Suboxone is an opiate. As we all know opiates are addictive, withdrawal from it is unavoidable. Many who have used Suboxone report the withdrawal symptoms to be as intense, or worse than, the original opiate. In order for it to be effective, it must be taken daily and to avoid experiencing withdrawal, must be continued indefinitely.

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

Vivitrol Opiate Addiction Chicago Rehab Syringe

Is Vivtrol right for you?

Medication-assisted treatment for addiction to Heroin and other opiates (such as Vicodin and Oxycontin) has been common for decades.  It has also been somewhat controversial because the medication-assisted treatment often involves providing medical substances similar to the addictive drug.  Most recently the controversy has centered on two medications used for opiate addiction: vivitrol and suboxone.  Although there is an abundant amount of information available on the internet - unfortunately not all of it is accurate. The choice whether to use medication to assist in opiate addiction rehab is a personal decision that is best made with accurate information and support from an informed addiction health care team.  So what are the main differences between vivitrol and suboxone?

Vivitrol vs Suboxone

Suboxone combines Buprenorphine (an Opiate) with Naloxone (an Opiate Blocker).  It is an orange colored film taken sublingually (under the tongue) daily and requires regular physician supervision.

Vivitrol is Naltrexone (an Opiate Blocker) in a suspended release injectable suspension.  It is given as an injection and the effects last approximately one month.  While both are effective in combating opiate (Heroin, Vicodin, & Oxycontin) cravings, there are some clear differences.

Suboxone is an opiate and an opiate blocker. As we all know opiates are addictive with unpleasant and even severe withdrawal symptoms.  Many who have used Suboxone report the withdrawal symptoms to be as intense, or worse than, the original opiate.  In order for it to be effective, it must be taken daily and to avoid experiencing withdrawal, must be continued indefinitely.

Vivitrol is purely an opiate blocker.  Once an individual is opiate free for approximately 7 to 10 days, Vivitrol can be given safely with no side effects.  It effectively combats opiate cravings, lasts for approximately one month and causes no further withdrawal symptoms.  Most importantly, if someone were to use an opiate while on Vivitrol, they would feel no effect. Knowing the option of getting high is not available allows a person in early recovery the time and emotional energy to focus on developing an effective recovery program.

For long-term recovery from opiate addiction, a strong and supportive 12-step recovery program offers the best chance for success. With what we know today, Vivitrol is the preferred medication in dealing with opiate addiction.  However, it is a personal choice best made with accurate information from an informed health care team.

Are you or a loved one suffering from Heroin, Vicodin, Oxycontin or other opiate addiction? Want more information about Vivtrol or Suboxone? Call New Hope Recovery Center at 773.883.3916.

Written by: New Hope Recovery Center

For more information on New Hope Recovery Center, Vivitrol and Suboxone check out: Vivitrol: New Hope’s Experience – An Important Aid for Opiate Addiction and What You Should Know About Vivitrol And Addiction Treatment