Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Vivitrol Shot

Hello everyone, both new comers and loyal readers, I welcome you guys to my blog about Opiate addiction. This is now my sixth post on this blog and I am happy in the direction in which this blog is going. Some of the things we have talked about so far include the Introduction and Welcome of this blog, my experience with Suboxone, opiate withdrawals, the reasons why we got addicted to opiates, and a post about comparing Suboxone and Methadone. You guys can read any of those posts by simply just clicking on any of the topics I just mentioned in the previous sentence or by going to the homepage of my blog. I would also like to tell all you guys about some of the features I have just added to this blog to help make things a little cooler and interesting. I won't go into much detail but I have added some new features that I think you guys might enjoy. They include an application that provides inspirational quotes and pictures, an application that allows you to share any of the posts through Facebook or Twitter, a new poll that will be updated monthly, and a language translator. All of these applications can be found at the bottom of each post's page and are pretty easy to use. Feel free to play around with them if you want or simply feel free to just ignore them. I want this blog to have a more personal feel to it and hope to develop a type of online community with readers that feel they can come to this site for help and conversation in regards to their addiction to opiates.

Enough of that, let's get to the heart of this particular post. I would like to dedicate this post to a pretty new method of treatment for opiate addiction. This new treatment method seems really interesting and almost like that miracle cure we all desperately wish would just suddenly appear. How many times have you guys wished your addiction (and any other problems for that matter) would just magically disappear and never return? I know I certainly have. Unfortunately it's not that easy and there isn't such a cure at this moment. Although, I wouldn't put it past man and science to one day really come up with something so insanely cool (seriously, some of the shit we have created is amazing). Anyways, the method of treatment I am going to be talking about here is Vivitrol.
The Vivitrol Shot



To those who have not yet heard about Vivitrol or know little about it, let me explain. Vivitrol is a method of treatment for opiate addiction (and alcohol addiction as well) which comes in the form of an injection (shot). The injection is given usually once every 28 days or month and its main purpose is to help addicts remain clean by lowering the sense of cravings and wanting to use. The main ingredient in Vivitrol is Naltrexone and is something I will talk about later in this post. Some of the other things I want to discuss in this post include how Vivitrol works/is used, how successful it can be, some side effects/warnings of the drug, the process of a Vivitrol program, and whatever else I can throw at you guys. I have never used Vivitrol myself but have talked to about 4 or 5 people who are either currently on it or have used it as well as asking both my drug addiction consular and drug addiction doctor. Let's start out by talking about the makeup of Vivitrol and the history of the drug.

As already mentioned, Vivitrol's main ingredient is the drug Naltrexone. Naltrexone is classified as an opioid receptor antagonist and it should be noted that Naltrexone is not the same thing as Naloxone, which is often used to treat someone who is experiencing an opiate or heroin overdose. Naltrexone works well for opiate addicts as it can block the euphoric effects of an opiate taken to get high. Basically, when a patient is on the Vivitrol shot, they cannot get high or will at least have much more difficulty in getting high. Most people that I have talked to that have used the Vivitrol shot say that the thought that they can no longer get high makes them feel less likely to use as they feel it is pointless to spend money on not being able to get high or to get a shitty high. However, this is not say it takes away all cravings and that you can't get high or attempt to get high. I have actually had some people I know and friends of friends who have overdosed or even died by trying to get high off opiates or heroin while on the Vivitrol shot. What usually happens in these cases of people overdosing and sometimes dying is that they attempt to get high while on Vivitrol but are unsuccessful so they attempt to take more of whatever drug they are attempting to get high off. This often leads to them taking far to much and overdosing.

Vivitrol was initially used to help with alcohol dependence and was just recently approved by the FDA in 2010 in the form of the once a month shot for the use of helping with opiate addiction. Naltrexone has been studied far more for alcohol dependence than in treating opioid dependence and there are still some cloudy questions/concerns about the drug as of now. Naltrexone was approved for aiding with opioid dependence in 1984 (at that time not in once a month shot form) but hadn't really started to become popular until just recently. Members of the addiction community felt that a main advantage that the Vivitrol shot has over drugs such as Suboxone and Methadone is that the Vivitrol shot is needed to be taken only once a month rather than having to take a pill on a daily basis like you normally would if you were on a Suboxone or Methadone program. This way it is more convenient for the patient and lowers the risk of the patient being able to skip their dose if you wish to get high like some do with Suboxone or Methadone. In addition to the shot, Vivitrol also comes in the form of an implant which is implanted into the body and is needed to be replaced over a period of 1-4 months depending upon the situation. For this particular post, we will only be discussing Vivitrol in the form of the once a month shot.

It is stressed that Vivitrol be used along with a support network, counseling, and attending of AA/NA meetings. Vivitrol has proven quite successful in helping those who suffer from alcohol addiction but there is not yet enough feedback and information as to how successful it can be with treating opiate addiction. Similar to how one must detox themselves off of opiates to begin a Suboxone or Methadone program, the Vivitrol injection should not be given to patients who are currently still drinking alcohol, people who are still using opiates or street drugs, and people who have used any kind of opiates within the past 7-10 days. To get onto a Vivitrol program, your addiction doctor will require you to take several drug tests in order to ensure that you have no opiates or alcohol in your system before your first (and every other) shot. Similar to Suboxone and Methadone, patients who have not waited long enough since their last dose of alcohol or opiates risk going into precipitated withdrawals. This is why it is important to be upfront and honest with your doctors and support network and to talk to these people frequently. The great thing about the Vivitrol shot is that it is not addicting or habit forming like Suboxone, Methadone, and so many other drugs that are out there. You will not get withdrawals from stopping Vivitrol period. However, it is important to note that if you do stop Vivitrol treatment, you can continue getting cravings or urges depending upon the person and their situation.

Nora Volkow, M.D., Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), stated the following about the use of Vivitrol in patients suffering from opiate and alcohol addiction:

“As a depot formulation, dosed monthly, Vivitrol obviates the daily need for patients to motivate themselves to stick to a treatment regimen - a formidable task, especially in the face of multiple triggers of craving and relapse. This new option increases the pharmaceutical choices for treating opioid addiction, and may be seen as advantageous by those unwilling to consider agonist or partial agonist approaches to treatment. NIDA is continuing to support research on Vivitrol's effectiveness in this country, including a focus on criminal justice involved populations transitioning back into the community.”

The following statement was issued by the FDA in regards to clinical studies of the Vivitrol shot and the success of it within these clinical studies:

"The phase 3 clinical study upon which the FDA granted approval for Vivitrol in treating opioid dependence had an enrollment of 250 patients and treated for six months. Primary outcome measures were percentage of weekly urine tests negative for opioids and length of study retention during the double-blind period. Alkermes presented positive results from this study at the American Psychiatric Association 2010 Annual Meeting in May 2010. The study met its primary efficacy endpoint and data showed that patients treated once-monthly with Vivitrol demonstrated statistically significant higher rates of opioid-free urine screens, compared to patients treated with a placebo, as measured by the cumulative distribution of clean urine screens."

I was very curious about Vivitrol myself after talking to some other opiate addicts and my consular so I decided to ask my addiction doctor about Vivitrol. As I have said before in other posts, I am currently on a Suboxone outpatient program after battling a 2 year addiction to the Oxycodone 30 mg pills (my daily habit was between 180-300 mg per day). The Suboxone has worked really well for me and I am now over 4 months clean off of the Oxycodone. However, I will eventually stop using the Suboxone one day after my tapering program is finished which has made me somewhat worried and concerned about how I will fare without the Suboxone when that day comes. This has made me to give the Vivitrol shot some thought as I think I may switch over to the shot after I finish my Suboxone program (for how long, I have no idea yet). When I asked my addiction doctor about the shot, she told me it has been quite successful in her patients and gave me a pamphlet about Vivitrol. Everything about the Vivitrol shot seemed great but one thing really stood out to me. Now I realize that nearly every medication out there comes with its own risks and side effects, but man did Vivitrol seem to have a lot. There were a lot of warnings about some of the side effects people can experience when on Vivitrol which began giving me second thoughts, especially with the small amount of information out there on the Vivitrol shot for use of opiate addiction. To sum things up a little quicker and makes things easier, I'm going to post below some of the side effects or risks involved with the Vivitrol shot as a method used to treat opiate addiction. I put it in blue front so you guys can tell what they say and what I am writing, here it is:

Before receiving naltrexone injection,
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to naltrexone, any other medications, carboxymethylcellulose (an ingredient in artificial tears and some medications), or polylactide-co-glycolide (PLG; an ingredient in some injected medications). Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you don't know if a medication you are allergic to contains carboxymethylcellulose or PLG.
  • tell your doctor if you have taken any opiate medications including certain medications for diarrhea, cough, or pain; methadone (Dolophine); or buprenorphine (Buprenex, Subutex, in Suboxone) within the last 7 to 10 days. Ask your doctor if you are not sure if a medication you have taken is an opiate Also tell your doctor if you have used any opiate street drugs such as heroin within the last 7 to 10 days. Your doctor may order certain tests to see if you have recently taken any opiate medications or used street drugs. Your doctor will not give you naltrexone injection if you have recently taken an opiate medication or used street drug.
  • do not take any opiate medications or use street drugs during your treatment with naltrexone injection. Naltrexone injection blocks the effects of opiate medications and street drugs. You may not feel the effects of these substances if you take or use them at low or normal doses at most times during your treatment. However, you may be more sensitive to the effects of these substances when it is almost time for you to receive a dose of naltrexone injection or if you miss a dose of naltrexone injection. You may experience an overdose if you take normal doses of opiate medications at these times, or if you take high doses of opiate medications or use street drugs at any time during your treatment with naltrexone. An opiate overdose may cause serious injury, coma (long-lasting unconscious state), or death. If you take or use opiate medications or street drugs during your treatment and you develop any of the following symptoms, call your doctor or seek emergency medical care immediately: difficulty breathing, slow, shallow breathing, faintness, dizziness, or confusion. Be sure that your family knows which symptoms may be serious so they can call the doctor or emergency medical care if you are unable to seek treatment on your own.
  • you should know that you may be more sensitive to the effects of opiate medications or street drugs after you finish your treatment with naltrexone injection. After you finish your treatment, tell any doctor who may prescribe medication for you that you were previously treated with naltrexone injection.
  • tell your doctor what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • tell your doctor if you have stopped taking opiates or using street drugs and are experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, sleeplessness, yawning, fever, sweating, teary eyes, runny nose, goose bumps, shakiness, hot or cold flushes, muscle aches, muscle twitches, restlessness, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach cramps, and if you have or have ever had bleeding problems such as hemophilia (a bleeding disorder in which the blood does not clot normally), a low number of platelets in your blood, depression, or kidney disease.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while receiving naltrexone injection, call your doctor.
  • if you need medical treatment or surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are receiving naltrexone injection. Wear or carry medical identification so that healthcare providers who treat you in an emergency will know that you are receiving naltrexone injection.
  • you should know that naltrexone injection may make you feel dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery or do other dangerous activities until you know how this medication affects you.
  • you should know that people who drink large amounts of alcohol or who use street drugs often become depressed and sometimes try to harm or kill themselves. Receiving naltrexone injection does not decrease the risk that you will try to harm yourself. You, your family, or your caregiver should call your doctor right away if you experience symptoms such as feelings of sadness, anxiousness, worthlessness, or helplessness, or thinking about harming or killing yourself or planning or trying to do so. Be sure that your family or caregiver knows which symptoms may be serious so they can call the doctor right away if you are unable to seek treatment on your own.
  • you should know that naltrexone injection is only helpful when it is used as part of an addiction treatment program. It is important that you attend all counseling sessions, support group meetings, education programs or other treatments recommended by your doctor.
  • talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of naltrexone injection before you receive your first dose. Naltrexone will remain in your body for about 1 month after you receive the injection and cannot be removed before this time.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Naltrexone injection may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • stomach pain
  • decreased appetite
  • dry mouth
  • headache
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • dizziness
  • tiredness
  • anxiety
  • joint pain or stiffness
  • muscle cramps
  • weakness
  • tenderness, redness, bruising, or itching at the injection site

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately:
  • pain, hardness, swelling, lumps, blisters, open wounds, or a dark scab at the injection site
  • coughing
  • wheezing
  • shortness of breath
  • hives
  • rash
  • swelling of the eyes, face, mouth, lips, tongue, or throat
  • hoarseness
  • difficulty swallowing
  • chest pain

Naltrexone injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while receiving this medication.

Adverse Effects

The most common side effects reported with naltrexone are non-specific gastrointestinal complaints such as diarrhea and abdominal cramping.

Naltrexone has been reported to cause liver damage (when given at doses higher than recommended). It carries an FDA boxed warning for this potential rare side effect. Due to these reports, some physicians may check liver function tests prior to starting naltrexone, and periodically thereafter. Concerns for liver toxicity initially arose from a study of non-addicted obese patients receiving 300mg of naltrexone. Subsequent studies have suggested limited toxicity in other patient populations.
Naltrexone should not be started prior to several (typically 7-10) days of abstinence from opioids. This is due to the risk of acute opioid withdrawal if naltrexone is taken, as naltrexone will displace most opioids from their receptors. The time of abstinence may be shorter than 7 days, depending on the half-life of the specific opioid taken. Some physicians use a naloxone challenge to determine whether an individual has any opioids remaining. The challenge involves giving a test dose of naloxone and monitoring for opioid withdrawal. If withdrawal occurs, naltrexone should not be started.

It is important that one not attempt to use opioids while using naltrexone. Although naltrexone blocks the opioid receptor, it is possible to override this blockade with very high doses of opioids. However this is quite dangerous and may lead to opioid overdose, respiratory depression, and death. Similarly one will not show normal response to opioid pain medications when taking naltrexone. In a supervised medical setting pain relief is possible but may require higher than usual doses, and the individual should be closely monitored for respiratory depression. All individuals taking naltrexone are encouraged to keep a card or a note in their wallet in case of an injury or another medical emergency. This is to let medical personnel know that special procedures are required if opiate-based painkillers are to be used.

There has been some controversy regarding the use of opioid-receptor antagonists, such as naltrexone, in the long-term management of opioid dependence due to the effect of these agents in sensitizing the opioid receptors. That is, after therapy, the opioid receptors continue to have increased sensitivity for a period during which the patient is at increased risk of opioid overdose. This effect reinforces the necessity of monitoring of therapy and provision of patient support measures by medical practitioners.

As I have said before, I have no experience with the Vivitrol shot so I don't want to seem like I am either knocking it or praising it. I am simply trying to provide you guys with some information about this method of treatment. In my opinion, this option seems to have much promise and appears quite interesting but I would certainly feel more comfortable talking to/hearing from other people about the matter and being able to read more about it. Like always, talk to your doctor and support team before trying the Vivitrol shot or making any drastic moves. Most of the people I have talked to said that the Vivitrol shot works really well for them but nearly all of them said they knew someone or knew of someone who overdosed by taking to much of their drug of choice trying to get high while on the Vivitrol shot. I've also heard of this happening with people who are on Suboxone and Methadone as well as people who were clean after going cold turkey that relapsed and used too much of their drug of choice to achieve a high resulting in overdose. Like anything, be careful and smart my friends with whatever you do, these things really can happen to anyone and usually occur so unexpectedly.

For anyone who is interested in knowing more about Vivitrol, I have listed the link to their official website below:

http://www.vivitrol.com/isi?s_mcid=ps-awb-opd-ma-site

The following was taken from their website homepage and is related to what exactly Vivitrol is, who should take it, and once again warnings and possible side effects. You can see the full medication guide on the site if you wish, it is located at the bottom of the company's homepage on their website that I have listed above this paragraph. Once again, I'll put this information in blue front for you guys.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
           
WHAT IS VIVITROL?
VIVITROL® (naltrexone for extended-release suspension) is a prescription injectable medicine used to treat alcohol dependence, and to prevent relapse to opioid dependence, after opioid detoxification. You should stop drinking before starting VIVITROL. To be effective, treatment with VIVITROL must be used along with other alcoholism or drug recovery programs such as counseling. VIVITROL may not work for everyone. VIVITROL has not been studied in children under the age of 18 years.
WHO SHOULD NOT TAKE VIVITROL?

Do not take VIVITROL if you are using or have physical dependence on opioid street drugs, such as heroin, or opioid-containing medicine, such as prescription pain medicine. You must not take opioid-containing medicines or opioid street drugs for 7-10 days before you start taking VIVITROL. You should not take VIVITROL if you have opioid withdrawal symptoms or are allergic to VIVITROL or any of the ingredients in the liquid used to mix VIVITROL (diluent). Click here to read the full medication guide to find out more about opioid withdrawal symptoms and to see a complete list of ingredients in VIVITROL and the diluent.
SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS

SEVERE REACTIONS AT THE SITE OF INJECTION
Some people on VIVITROL treatment have had severe reactions at the site of injection (injection site reactions), including tissue death (necrosis). Some of these injection site reactions have required surgery. Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following things happen at your injection site: intense pain, the area feels hard, large area of swelling, lumps, blisters, an open wound or dark scab.

LIVER DAMAGE OR HEPATITIS
Naltrexone, the active ingredient in VIVITROL, can cause liver damage (including liver failure) or hepatitis, if you take more than the recommended dose. Tell your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms of liver problems during treatment with VIVITROL: stomach area pain lasting more than a few days, dark urine, yellowing of the whites of your eyes, or tiredness. Your doctor may need to stop treating you with VIVITROL if you get signs or symptoms of a serious problem.

RISK OF OPIOID OVERDOSE
If you have used opioid-containing medicines or opioid street drugs in the past, you may be more sensitive to lower doses of opioids after VIVITROL treatment stops, when your next VIVITROL dose is due or if you miss a dose of VIVITROL. Using opioids in amounts you used before treatment with VIVITROL can lead to overdose and death. You may not feel the usual effects if you use or abuse heroin and other illegal (street) drugs while on VIVITROL. Do not take large amounts of opioids, including opioid-containing medicines, such as prescription pain pills, or heroin, to overcome effects of VIVITROL. This can lead to overdose including serious injury, coma, or death. You may not feel the usual effects of opioid-containing medicines including medicines for pain, cough and diarrhea while on VIVITROL. It is important that you tell your family and the people closest to you of this increased sensitivity to opioids and the risk of overdose. You or someone close to you should get emergency medical help right away if you: have trouble breathing; become very drowsy with slowed breathing; have slow, shallow breathing (little chest movement with breathing); feel faint, very dizzy, or have unusual symptoms.

SEVERE ALLERGIC PNEUMONIA
Some people on VIVITROL treatment have had severe allergic pneumonia. Call your doctor right away if you experience shortness of breath or coughing that does not go away. You may need to go to the hospital for treatment with antibiotic and steroid medicines.

SERIOUS ALLERGIC REACTIONS
Serious allergic reactions can happen during or soon after an injection of VIVITROL. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of these symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: skin rash, swelling of your face, mouth or tongue, trouble breathing or wheezing, chest pain, feeling dizzy or faint.
           
OTHER POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS
VIVITROL can cause other serious side effects, such as depressed mood that can sometimes lead to suicide, suicidal thoughts and suicidal behavior. You should tell your family members and the people closest to you if you are taking VIVITROL. Call your doctor right away if you experience signs of depression. Click here to find out more about some symptoms of depression.

Common side effects of VIVITROL include nausea, tiredness, headache, vomiting, decreased appetite, painful joints and muscle cramps. In addition, common side effects in people taking VIVITROL for opioid dependence also include cold symptoms, trouble sleeping, and toothache.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You are encouraged to report negative side effects to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call
1-800-FDA-1088.


I hope this information is helpful for you guys and can only recommend that if you choose to give Vivitrol a try to really talk it over with your doctors and support network. Don't be afraid to ask questions and don't shy away from doing your own research into the matter in addition.

I would also like to talk about how exactly you take the Vivitrol shot and the basic process of getting into and staying with a program that offers Vivitrol. Like Suboxone and Methadone, you must see a doctor who is licensed to offer Vivitrol and you will most likely have to submit to drug testing and meet with a doctor and/or consular on a regular basis. You do not take home the shot and give it to yourself, rather the doctor will be the person giving you the shot. The shot is injected into a person's buttocks. I have no idea how big the needle is or if its painful, or if you can get the shot anywhere else on your body. I also want to note that getting into a Vivitrol program can sometimes be expensive and challenging. Some insurances cover the costs better than others and some do not cover it all so be sure to ask your insurance provider about the shot. I have also heard of some programs and doctors willing to work with their patients in regards to costs and that you can sometimes get like discounts/coupons for treatment like they have for Suboxone programs. I'm not sure if there is a certain limit to the amount of people a doctor can prescribe Vivitrol to such as with Suboxone or Methadone, but it wouldn't surprise me if there was one. Therefore, be sure to do your research and to call around for programs offering the Vivitrol shot if you wish to try it. Also, be sure that you are aware and know of the requirements of the program and are willing to go by their rules.

How the Vivitrol shot is given

A final thing I want to talk about is the Vivitrol Curve Chart, which is basically a chart that shows patients how Vivitrol in body slowly rises until it reaches a peaking point and than begins to drop. Some patients report being able to get high or that they begin to get urges/cravings before their next dose is due. Doctors believe that this is because the Vivitrol shot is beginning to wear off resulting in another dose being needed. This is why you must get the shot every 28 days or so. My doctor told me that sometimes he will prescribe patients a week supply of Naltrexone in the form of a traditional pill the last week before their next dose to help with this issue. This is also why going to meetings and/or getting support from a consular is important when you're on the Vivitrol shot as it will help with urges/cravings and remaining clean. Doctors may also give their patients a one week supply of the Naltrexone before they start their Vivitrol treatment to make sure the patient is OK to take the shot and doesn't have any bad reactions to the Naltrexone.

This graph shows how Naltrexone (Black) in the Vivitrol reaches a peak period then begins to decrease over time resulting in the individual needing to get their next dose. The Gray lines represent Naltrexone in the pill form which stays at a much steadier rate but must be taken on a daily basis.

Another thing about Vivitrol to note is that it doesn't really help with withdrawals you would experience from stopping opiates all together. The Vivitrol is more for helping with the urges/cravings rather than for the withdrawals. Some people say it helps greatly while others say it is not that helpful proving once again that everyone is different and reacts differently to things. Around where I live, Vivitrol is real popular for helping people who have just came out of a Rehab or Detox program as well as people who have recently stopped using Suboxone or Methadone after they waited long enough to get the Vivitrol shot.

Here are some links to some articles or websites devoted to discussing the Vivitrol shot.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/MindMoodNews/month-vivitrol-shot-opioid-addicts/story?id=11865152
http://www.emedicinehealth.com/drug-naltrexone_injection/article_em.htm
http://www.soberliving.com/specprograms/vivitrol-shot-opioid-opiate-oxycontin-heroin-methadone-addiction-rehab
http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2010/10/13/130534315/vivitrol-once-a-month-drug-is-a-new-anti-addiction-option
http://www.drugfree.org/join-together/addiction/vivitrol-slowly-makes-its-way-into-opioid-dependence-treatment
http://www.stopoxy.com/vivitrol-suboxone-probuphine-addiction-implants
http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm229109.htm
http://www.drug-rehabilitation.org/5_benefits_of_vivitrol.php

That's all the information I have for you guys and hope it helps. Talk to your doctors and support network about the Vivitrol shot if it is something you're interested in trying. This post is more for people looking to Vivitrol as a way of helping with opiate addiction rather than for drinking dependence. I would really like to hear what you guys think and know about this new method of treatment and if anyone has any experience with the Vivitrol shot to please feel free to comment and talk about it. I'll leave the rest up to you guys to comment and get some conversation going. Also, don't forgot to check out the new applications and to vote on the new poll listed below. Thanks.

I'm not too sure what my next post is going to be about so if you guys have any ideas, feel free to leave them in the comment section. Until next time my friends, take care, be careful, and be happy. Life is far to short to be living the ways we lived as addicts. There is so much more out there besides getting high and this is coming from someone who really loved getting high. Vivitrol is just one of the many methods to help treat opiate addiction so don't feel as if your options are limited. It is not the path you took to get sober, it is the fact that you are now sober that matters most. Keep seeing the light my friends.

Sincerely,

Seeingthelight

46 comments:

  1. My daughters story. She tried Suboxone, Methadone and Vivitrol. Clean now for 14 months.


    Freep article:
    http://www.freep.com/article/20120708/FEATURES08/207080589/Revolutionary-new-drug-Vivitrol-offers-new-life-to-addicts

    WDIV Part 1:
    http://www.clickondetroit.com/lifestyle/health/How-good-student-became-heroin-addict/-/2300442/15736654/-/format/rss_2.0/-/wfaw6sz/-/index.html

    WDIV Part 2:
    http://www.clickondetroit.com/lifestyle/health/Local-student-shares-how-she-got-clean-from-heroin/-/2300442/15752712/-/format/rss_2.0/-/10u2kcfz/-/index.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a wonderful Blog. I truly appreciate all that you posted. I will speak to my daughters doctors and see what their opinion is on this medication. Keep writing. As soon as I find out something I will post it.

      GREAT JOB!!!

      Delete
  2. Hello Anonymous (above comment regarding their daughter's story)!

    I am so pleased to have someone finally comment on my blog. Congrats, you're the first to do so! I read you and your daughter's story about her struggle with opiate addiction and must say, it nearly brought a tear to my eye. I'm so glad that more focus and resources (although still not enough in my opinon) are being put into treatments for drug addiction. Vivitrol certianly seems to have a lot of promise.

    I have no exeperince with the Vivitrol Shot but am very interested in it. Your story of success is truly something good to hear in such a gloomy topic. Congratulations on your daughter's soberity, I'm sure it must be a wonderful feeling for both you and your daughter. I would also like to thank you for sharing your story and providing some great insight for others to read and learn from. This blog needs readers like you!

    It takes a strong person to be a mother like yourself to have to deal with such a situation. It looks like it's starting to pay off.Once again, thank you and congrats! Stay strong and keep seeing the light!

    Take care,

    Seeingthelight

    ReplyDelete
  3. P.S.

    Thank you for voting on my new poll below for the blog. Anyone else, there is a few days left to still vote!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I commend you for your website, however, I'm a little baffled by your fear of the Vivitrol side affects. Every drug has possible side affects but you've got to weigh the benefits vs the risk. I feel the risk is so ovbeneficial then shoting or smoking Heroin. You have a far greather risk of dying from Heroin or Opiate overdose then a side affects from Vivitrol. My son who is 23 will be going for his first shot today and this is his last chance to get clean. It's either the shot or a life on the streets. I will be with him for each shot, there will be no going alone, as I don't trust him to get it by himself. He as a good friend who was on the shot for 5 months and has been clean for 10 months now. So like I said, the risk out-weigh the side affects by a 1000 times.

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    1. I agree and Vivitrol, like nearly every other medication, has its risk and benefits. Some people have real bad reactions to the shot which is what scared me most. I agree that 9 times out of 10, the shot is much better than the drugs we would be doing otherwise off the streets. I apologize for just getting back to you, I lost my username and password and have been unable to log on to my account. How is your son doing with the Vivitrol shot? I am quite curious about as I am still on the Suboxone but am very interested in the Vivitrol shot.

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    2. I was near death and I was on 240 30mg oxycodone and 200 15mg oxycodone and for "breakthrough" pain. I live in Florida which distributes more of these pills than all the rest of the US combined. Needless to say ask and u shall receive. I went from eating to snorting and tolerance grew. I then got on methadone which was a HUGE MISTAKE! LIQUID HANDCUFFS!! It eats up your teeth at the gumline and worse. I went to snorting Suboxone from that and I was just so tired of being on something so I winged off the Suboxone and I tried the Vivitrol shot. It saved my life. I did have an allergic reaction, fever and a lump in my rear end but it only lasted a week but don't let this discourage you, I'm allergic to EVERYTHING! My husband got it too with no side effects at all. A fever and a lump for a week is nothing in comparison to getting my life back. We got our injection January 2nd 2014 and didn't need another, and I was the WORST!!! We have no desire to ever touch those horrible pills again!! This is a BEAUTIFUL CURE TO THIS HORRIBLE EPIDEMIC!!!!

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    3. Typo up there I didn't snort Suboxone I was on the strips.

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  5. you were taking up 300mg a day ???? Holy Shit. I was taking up to 120mg a day, Im sure it would have been more, but where
    Im at a 30mg pill cost 35 dollars, needless to say my criminal activity in order to support my habit was off the hook.
    But.. Im happy to tell you that I just finished 9 months on vivitrol. this is the longest I have been clean in 10 years. Im actually looking forward to the future now days. have a good day.

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    1. Yup 300 mg, sometimes more. I wish I was lying lol. Overall, at least 150 mg a day but usually more depending on what I could afford and get my hands on. It was bad to say the least. I was paying $30-35 a pill as well. It's crazy how much money an addict will spend and what he or she will do to get that money. Being clean defiantly allows one to live a life without having to always worry about getting and affording your next score. Great work on your sobriety. I would love to hear more about your experience with the Vivitrol shot. I'm still considering it. Do you find it helps much with cravings? Sorry to just be responding now, I lost my password and couldn't log in. Keep up the great work!

      Thanks-Seeingthelight

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  6. My son is an opiate addict. He had a 1200 a day habit. Very sad this wrcked our family for 7 years. He got on the vivitrol shot and did great. The only side effect was he felt nauseated the second day after injection. It also does cut down on cravings. Our family highly recommends the vivitrol shot. The mom of an addict (Gail)

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    1. That's great to hear and I am sure you are very proud of your son and his will to battle and come to terms with his addiction. I wish you both nothing but the best of luck. Please let us know when you get a chance how your son is doing with the Vivitrol shot.
      Take Care, Seeingthelight

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  7. I am a fan of vivitrol. As my son is an addict he has been clean for 7 months and our family is on the mend after a terrible year. He went to an out of state rehab only to relapse, an outpatient program only to relapse. We continued to look for an answer. We found a wonderful place in Roswell GA that was amazing. They introduced us to this shot. He is finally back and I support vivitrol 100%. The risks far out way the chance of him living his life the way he used to.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your input. I am glad to hear that your son and your family are now doing well and that the Vivitrol shot has been working wonders for your son. Give him a pat on the back for me when you get a chance and tell him to keep up the good work.

      For every successful turnaround in an addict's life, there must be people around supporting them and keeping them on the right track. Your son is really lucky is to have not only a strong and true parent, but a loyal friend as well.

      Take Care,

      Seeingthelight

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  8. I am a recovering addict and recently got the Vitriol injection. I praise it 100%, my only complaint us that i can't get rid of major headaches, but i would rather have them.

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    Replies
    1. Hey friend,

      First off, thanks for commenting on my blog, I really appreciate your contribution and thoughts. I am glad to hear Vivitrol is working well for you and great job on your recovery. If you don't mind me asking, how long sober?

      That stinks about the headaches. If you haven't already, maybe try talking it over with your doctor to see if he can recommend anything or prescribe something for you. I defiantly see where you are coming from in saying that you would put up with the headaches rather than dealing with the daily struggle one faces when being addicted to opiates.

      Does the Vivitrol shot help much with cravings? Also, does it provide any relief from withdrawal? It is my understanding that you cannot administer Vivitrol without providing yourself with enough time for any trace of opiates to leave the body. I am planning on possibly getting on the Vivitrol shot once I get off of Suboxone. I know I will have to give myself a solid week or so before getting on the Vivitrol shot so that any traces of the Suboxone can leave the body. I have gone cold turkey before for a couple of weeks and realize that most of the withdrawals are gone after about a week but I am also aware that some linger around much longer. Would you say the shot helps with these lingering withdrawals such as restless legs or difficulty sleeping?

      Good luck on your recovery and I hope you can find something to help with the headaches. You appear to be on the right track and your mind seems like it is in the right place as well. Keep it up and give yourself a quick pat on the back.

      Take Care,

      Seeingtheligh

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  9. I had the Vivitrol shot this Thurs morning to help my >300+mg oxy 30 a day habit. I tried Suboxone but its too easy to come off and get hi again (im a 41 yr old male-3 yr habit) Not even 10 mins after the shot,I was in a FULL BLOWN EPISODE!!!! my poor wife...i was sweating,babbling,trying to open the car door on hi way-THIS IS NOT ME!! Police and EMTs came to my house and strapped me down for the local hospital-I was violent,aggressive,etc..my Dr said this is so rare that its less than 1% of reactions
    They figured out the reaction was from too muct Xannax with the Vivitrol
    After all this I would tell anyone to get the shot!! I feel great,have no cravings and know my life will once again be mine

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    1. Hey friend,

      First off, all I can say is WOW, that was one hell of a ride that you went through on Thursday morning. I am so sorry to hear about the level of suffering you went through. Hopefully, the worst is over and it is good riding from here on out.

      I have two guesses as to why you had such a negative reaction to the Vivitrol shot. My first guess is that the reaction was perhaps due to an allergic reaction to one of the ingredients in the shot such as Naltrexone. While allergic reactions to the shot are for the most part uncommon, they certainly do occur. If this is applicable to your situation, you unfortunately may have to avoid the Vivitrol shot. If you haven't already, try mentioning this to your doctor.

      My next best guess is similar to what you and your doctor had discussed with one another, in that you may have not waited long enough for any opiate(s) or other substance(s) to leave your body. I am not sure whether or not a drug such as Xanax can cause such a reaction as my knowledge of the drug is limited. However, I do know that the general rule of thumb is to use extreme caution when mixing Benzodiazepines (Xanax) and opioids (Vivitrol, in this case, an opioid receptor) as the combination can potentially cause sickness or even death. As far as opiates/opioids, you must definatly provide yourself with enough time between your last time using and when you obtain your first shot of the Vivitrol.

      According to the Vivitrol website, the company recommends providing patients with at least 7-10 days of being clean off of all opiates, street drugs, and alcohol. The site also discusses potential allergic reactions that some patients may experience. I have included the website for Vivitrol below this paragraph.

      http://www.vivitrol.com/

      After all that you went through Thursday morning combined with the fact that you still want to stay on the Vivitrol shot makes me see a man who really wants to do the right thing and get clean. I really respect that and wish you nothing but the best of luck with your recovery. My only other suggestion is that you please be careful if combining the Vivitrol shot with any other drugs or substances. Be sure to talk openly and honestly with your doctor. I really hope your next visit to your Vivitrol doctor goes a lot better and smoother. You deserve it after what you just experienced.

      You seem focused, determined, and motivated which are all key components towards successfully getting off opiates and remaining clean. Again, good luck my friend and keep up the hard work. Don't hesitate to drop by anytime and leave a comment about how things are going for you and your recovery. I would love to hear how your next appointment goes.

      Best wishes and take care,

      Seeingthelight

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    2. Thanks for the kind words!! The only bad issue I'm still having is very deep sadness-I assume its from the endorphin dump that Vivitrol does at first to get opiates off the brain. Just typing this I want to cry. Ive read this is normal and will pass.I cannot say enough about how awesome my wife has been since the shot!!!! My other issue is that my Dr seems to have a bad GOD complex and talks down to people-I have a chem background so I know my ish :) I do know the physical addiction is gone but I still have a psych addiction and need help with that-please help me if u can!!!!!

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    3. Hey Pal,

      Thanks for the quick reply and I'm glad I can be of some help. I know exactly what you are talking about with the feelings of sadness. When we get off of opiates, it often feels like something is missing in our lives or that we have just lost a good friend or loved one. It's because of the time, dedication, and effort we so often put into getting opiates and searching for that high. For many addicts, their entire days revolve around looking for drugs and ways to support their habits. At the very least, those addicted to opiates will agree that these drugs were far too present in our lives. Thus, when we give up opiates, we give up a major part of our lives. However, fear not, it is a good part to be giving up!

      I am wondering if you are perhaps suffering from Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome, commonly referred to as PAWS. PAWS basically occurs once the physical withdrawal go away and result in a mixture of emotional and physiological feelings and issues. PAWS can include depression, boredom, mood swings, anxiety, insomnia, and the like. I'm not sure how much you know about PAWS, but I actually wrote a post about the topic that you can find by clicking on the link below this paragraph. Check it out if you get a chance and are interested.

      http://welcomefellowopiateaddicts.blogspot.com/2013/04/post-acute-withdrawal-syndrome-paws.html

      The things that I have found to help combat things like depression and boredom basically revolve around staying busy. Exercise is said to help a lot as it is not only healthy for you but also allows the brain to create natural endorphins (similar to the ones opiates create). Picking up a couple hobbies might help as well. Try to find something that you really enjoy and isn't to demanding. For me, this was fishing and playing in a flag football league. The worst thing that can happen to an addict looking to stay clean is boredom. When we're bored, our minds often begin to wonder in the wrong direction so please try to keep busy through work, hobbies, family time, and such.

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    4. It may also help to talk regularly with someone about how you are feeling, any problems you are having, and what's on your mind in regards to your recovery. This can be done with a counselor or psychiatrist or even with your spouse, parent, sibling, or a good friend. It can really help when you have someone to talk to and get things off your mind. Another option, while one I don't partake in myself, are NA or AA meetings.

      If you feel it may be necessary, try talking with your doctor about possibly getting on something that can help with the way you are feeling. While I have no experience with any, I know there are several medications out there that can help with things such as sadness, depression, or anxiety and that it is not uncommon for addicts to need a little something to help with these issues.

      That's great that your wife is supportive, it is really important to surround yourself with those kinds of people. I know how hard it can be sometimes and how at times, it feels like your in battle all by yourself. However, remember there are literally thousands of people (myself included) who are in the same boat as you fighting the same demons.

      I wish your doctor was a little more supportive and didn't have what appears to be somewhat of an ego problem. Sometimes I think us addicts are more knowledgeable about drugs and addiction than the people with years of schooling! If it is to the point where you feel your doctor is not adequate enough, don't hesitate to look elsewhere for another doctor. Your health and recovery are extremely important and should be treated as such. Again, your decision my friend.

      You seem like you are on the right track and should be proud of yourself for taking the big step towards sobriety and a life without drugs. It's certainly easier said than done. The PAWS and feelings of sadness will pass over time and get better. This is where the sayings "things get better over time" and to "take it one day at a time" come into play. There are a lot of sayings, phrases, and quotes thrown around (sometimes WAY too much!) within the addiction community but those two are perhaps some of the most important ones.

      I'm always on here to talk if you need to and like I said in my previous post, I wish you nothing but the best of luck. You without a doubt have my approval and again, should be proud of what you have worked for and accomplished thus far. Keep up the good work!

      Take Care,

      Seeingthelight

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    5. Thank you so so much!! Honesty is the only way I'm told I'll beat this so I must admit I did use a few P30s after the shot. The worst thing is that i fully understand its a waste. I felt so sad and achy I convinced myself it would help. I know this is the total opposite I need to do. I just emailed my shrink to sit and talk with her to help me thru it.I'm in the process of cutting everyone out that is involved with these awful things.I think that will really help also....

      Thanks so much

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    6. Hey buddy,

      First things first, please don't put yourself down about your recent relapse. I have been on Suboxone for over a year and have slipped up a few times myself so don't as if you are alone. The important thing is that you pick yourself up and get right back on the sober train after a relapse. Remember, relapse is sometimes just a part of recovery. However, this is not to say that it has to be part of one's recovery.

      There are some days where I wake up and just don't feel right while on the Suboxone. Strangely, I almost feel like I am in a state of minor withdrawal, both mentally and physically. I think it has more to do with sudden and random urges than actual withdrawal. Most of the time I can tend to myself with a cup of hot coffee, a little Television while laying in bed, and just relaxing before this episode eventually passes. However, there are times, unfortunately, were I just simply crack and use my drug of choice (Oxycodone 30 mg pills). Similar to what you mentioned. I immediately begin regretting my slip up.

      The good news with your situation is that you are taking responsibility for your actions by doing something about them in admitting your mistake(s) and seeking advice from your counselor or psychiatrist. Hopefully through talking with one another, you are able to identify what caused the relapse as well as ways in which you can prevent ones from occurring in the future.

      I was never big on the idea of talking with someone such as a counselor or psychiatrist about my addiction but can now say that they do help to some degree, for some more than others. You should also focus on ways in which you can cope with any urges and cravings as well as learning what your triggers are. If you are interested, I wrote a whole post about triggers, which are things that make you crave your drug of choice. This post can be accessed by using the link below this paragraph.

      http://welcomefellowopiateaddicts.blogspot.com/2013/04/cravings-triggers.html

      If you don't mind me asking, I would like to ask you a few questions about your experience with the Vivitrol. Feel free to answer as many or as few as you wish. The questions are as follows:

      1. On a scale of 1-100 with 100 being great and 1 being bad, how would you rate the way in which you feel after say a week on the Vivitrol shot?

      2. Do you find the Vivitrol shot to be of any help in providing relief from withdrawal? For example, have you had any episodes of restless legs or insomnia?

      3. Is the shot painful?

      4. At the end of the day, from one opiate addict to another, would you recommend getting the Vivitrol shot to someone?

      Thank you for reading and commenting on my posts as well. It really makes me feel good that people are reading my posts and getting something out of them.

      Best Wishes,

      Seeingthelight

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    7. I would say an 80 after the shot-the sadness and achy part sux BUT I didnt get any phys withdrawal after my initial terrible reaction the 1st day-sleep was tough but better now!
      The shot wasnt painful at all
      I would def recommend the shot but be ready for sadness and just thinking about opiates. The best thing is it lasts a month so even if you do relapse,u wont get sick again(i DO NOT advocate doing that) My issues are in my head and PAWS...BUT I KNOW I'll get thru it!!!!!

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    8. Hey Pal,

      Thanks again for your input as it is a real pleasure to hear from the people who take the time to read my blog.

      I'm seriously considering giving the Vivitrol shot a shot (pun intended!) in the near future once I get off of the Suboxone. In fact, if all goes according to plan, I will be making the jump off of Suboxone on the last day of this month (June 30) so believe me when I say this, I truly appreciate you and anyone else sharing one's thoughts and opinions.

      The biggest concern for me right now is whether or not the Vivitrol shot will provide any relief in regards to withdrawal. I understand that you must provide yourself with roughly 7-10 days (sometimes more) to make sure no opiates are in your system before being administered the shot so I know that whether I get the Vivitrol shot or not, that I will be looking to face at least a week of withdrawal either way.

      I apologize once again for bombarding you with multiple questions but if you don't mind me asking, I would like to know a little bit more about how effective the shot has been for providing relief for withdrawal symptoms in your case. In your opinion, how much (if any) does the Vivitrol shot help in providing relief for restless legs, stomach cramps/diarrhea, and the chills? With the exception of the stomach cramping and diarrhea, these are the withdrawal symptoms I experience (and dread) the most so your input would once again be much appreciated.

      My final inquiry concerns sleep, or should I say, lack of. In your case, about how long did it take for you to actually begin to start getting a half way decent night's sleep on the regular? Did you use any over-the-counter sleep aids or prescription medications to aid you with this matter?

      I'm sure (and certainly hope so) that you have heard this a few times already from among your peers, but I want you to know that, even through we're total strangers probably miles upon miles apart, I root for you and am proud of you for the progress you have made and accomplished thus far. You really are an inspiration to me and I'm sure many others who are reading this blog. Keep up the good work and I hope your aches and episodes of sadness subdue soon and get better. You deserve it and, like you said in your most recent post, you'll get through it!

      Take care my friend and I can't stress it enough, thank you for not only reading my blog but for contributing to it as well. It is people like you that make this blog work and allow other addicts such as myself to learn about addiction. I look forward to hearing back from you when you get a moment of free time.

      Best Wishes,

      Seeingthelight

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    9. Ok had my 2nd shot this past sat!!! No hospital ride!!!! I feel great!! Just wanted to drop a quick line!!!

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  10. I am happy I came across this blog - it has really helped. I am hoping someone can answer a question for me. My husband recently had the vivitrol shot last Friday for a severe opiate addiction. I came home from work early yesterday and he was visibly high and soon admitted that he had used. He told me that he did not feel the euphoric "high" but he looked like he always used to look after using drugs. Unfortunately, he must have purchased enough to use more and later that night relapsed again, and appeared even more high. I was confused because I know vivitrol blocks the opiate, but is that literally just for the euphoric feeling? Is it possible for him to still have the other physical side effects such as pinned pupils and slurring his words etc? I am unsure as to why he would try and use again if he told me it didn't really do anything earlier. My main concern is that he lied about getting the injection and he really was just high. If anyone has any insight as to what really happens if you use while on vivitrol it would be most appreciated. I am ready to give up.

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  11. As I understand it, after the shot, people may still give in to the craving and will then take more to reach the desired level since the shot is blocking what normally satisfies. This is very dangerous and requires medical attention.

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  12. Nice blog. :)
    My son used opiates (mostly rx painkillers) and heroin for nearly 10 years. He tried suboxone for 2 years but didn't get any behavioral therapy or counselling. His insurance ran out and he abruptly stopped the suboxone sending him deeper into heroin and other street drugs.
    He had his first Vivitrol shot a few days ago and I thought I would share some details. We found a wonderful knowledgable doctor. He saw my son within a couple of days after he last used. He prescribed clonazepam, clonadine, lomotil and gabapentin to help him through at-home detox/ withdrawal symptoms. That was hard. He spent almost 7 days asleep or in the bathroom. Without those medications he would not have been able to meet the 7-10 day requirement. On day 10 (since last use) he went in for his shot. He was no longer experiencing physical withdrawal but wanted to use. He passed his urine test. The doctor drew blood to check liver enzymes. All ok. Then the doc gave him a naltrexone challenge test. It was a small oral dose of the medicine. If he felt anything that felt like withdrawal or allergic reaction he would not get the shot. After 20 minutes he felt ok so he got another small oral dose. His stomach was queazy so they gave him crackers and gatorade. That helped so after 20 more minutes they gave him the shot.
    The shot can only be given in the butt. It is a big shot (several ml) and can cause swelling and discoloration so you really wouldn't want it anywhere else. He said the shot itself didn't hurt but his butt was a little sore for a couple hours. Within a couple hours he felt "like crap". The doc told him he might feel like he had the flu and that is a good description. He ached all over but had no cravings and he said that nothing felt like withdrawal, just like having the flu. He took ibuprofin and clonazepam and just tried to sleep. The medicine peaks at 30 hours so that's when he felt the worst. Again, like having the flu - aches, nausea but no vomiting. No cravings. Then it was like a switch turned off. Right at about 36 hours after the shot he was like a different person. He had energy. He was alert. Physically he said he felt better than he had in a long timr and actually went out and got some exercise.
    So to sum up, it was hard detoxing in order to get the shot. The side effects from the shot were not fun but no worse than a bad case of the flu and over in less than 2 days. We were told that the side effects are worse with the first shot and most people don't feel any on subsequent shots. The doctor told him to call for oral doses if he feels cravings after the shot starts to wear off in about 3 weeks. Some people don't have any trouble making it the whole 28 days.

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    1. Speaking as a former addict of Prescription Opiate/Opioid Painkillers, and (evetually) Heroin, I personally think a brief period of suboxone tapering in between is the safer route. By Brief I mean 2 or 3 weeks between getting the opiates out, and the naltrexone. Granted, it still takes 3-5 days from last use to start suboxone, and at least 7-10 (even up to 14) days from suboxone to Naltrexone/Vivitrol, it makes it much more mentally bearable to go from one to the other. I can see your doctor is all about the "directly onto Naltrexone/Vivitrol" approach, but speaking from experience, given any opportunity I would have taken any chance I could to sneak off and use during that miserable withdrawal period, in spite of common sense... Just because I'd've known otherwise I'd be facing a long period of time of "feeling shitty" without any sort of artificial chemical relief. From a mental aspect that transfer to suboxone inbetween breaks things up nicely

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    2. Oh and the shot works great. It's AMAZING in it's simplicity. It doesn't do much of anything to technically get rid of the "mental" urges... (That takes time) and I barely noticed that it had any effect physically. (but that could have been because I'd been clean 2 months when I started having been on suboxone a month inbetween) So considering that you don't feel it doing anything how does it help? If you have an urge/craving you simply know that theres absolutely no way that you could go get high, so there's no reason to bother trying to, so you don't. That's it! Simple. Stupid. Redundant sounding, but it works! I tried just suboxone twice, 6 months the 1st, and a year the 2nd time. Relapsed both times. On vivitrol I've been clean 9 months or so.

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  13. Thanks for your info my Daughter is now recieving this shot and as of 9/24/13 has been clean for 30 days!!! I was curious about this shot she had recieved and very pleased to get all my questions and fears answered. Pray for your success and strength. Jo Ann B.

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  14. My daughter is taking the pills to see how she tolerates the drug before getting the shot. (For alcohol not opiates) she has nausea. Does anyone know how long this lasts and does it usually continue or subside?

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  15. She has been vomiti g all morning. Flu or drugs? Any thoughts?

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    ReplyDelete
  17. I know the desparation of being an addict..I was a dope fiend from 11 yrs old to 30yrs old..Was on the methadone clinic for 7 yrs while still maintaining my dope habit and then a coke habit..thank God many people didn't sugar coat it for me and were real with me..It saved my life Clean is clean..no chemical..substance or methadone or drug replacement..you can not claim clean time in NA when on methadone..suboxone..or vivitral..period..N.A.org Bulletin #29.. Addiction is a murderer..Surrender confronts us with the TRUTH about our addictive life..no one can go overtop..around..or underneith the emotional..physical or spiritual pain of active addiction..I feel for you guys..and pray that the healing you seek will come.

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  18. I had the Vivitrol shot almost 3 weeks ago. My experience has been rough. I feel the extreme sense of depression the label warns of. It does not take away my cravings for the drug, in fact, while feeling desperately depressed it just makes me feel like counting the days until I can get back to taking oxy. Right now it takes all my conscience effort to tell my self that giving up my passion meds was the right thing to do. I also have the stomach cramps and diarrhea, which intensifies the agony.

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  20. So currently my experience with vivitrol has looked like this:
    Day 1: No physical side effects. Severe depression following initial anger and acceptance that I could not use opiates.
    Day 2: Woke up feeling hopeless, lost and alone. Depression went up and down from moderate to severe. Gave in to desire for some sort of rush and IVd methamphetamine. NO rush whatsoever. My injection instead gave me a throbbing headache for 10-20 minutes. After initial use feelings of depression and hopelessness disappeared due to increased chemical activity caused by meth. Sat in a room while three friends IV'd heroin and had minor cravings. Had no strong thoughts of even attempting to override the vivatrol.
    Day 3: Have not slept. Still lacking any depression from meth use. Tried IVing multiple times with different meth and all of which attempts ended in no rush and a massive headache. Fell asleep at 4am.
    Day 4: Woke up at 9 am extremely lacking in motivation and having moderate depression. Experienced moderate yet controllable cravings while GF did her morning dose of heroin. Contemplated smoking a piece of heroin just for the taste with no intention of getting high and decided against it. Snorted last bit of methamphetamine to subside the depression and overall blah-like feeling. Spent the day with family, got honest and told them I used meth hoping for a rush to no avail.

    Present: It's 2 am and I'm still spun. I feel empowered by my ability to be around the opiate use and not give in to the cravings. I feel optimistic and excited for the future, yet I fear I may wake up in the same state of depression as before. Although meth is not my thing, I was seeking the rush, the high itself and how it destroys my body is too much for me to enjoy it. So tomorrow if the depression is there I hope I make it through the day, I can't begin to explain the level of hopelessness I felt on day 1 and 2.

    Will update tomorrow night:)
    Great post btw, information on this form of addiction treatment is very important to people like myself dealing with this disease. I hope it's okay if I post daily about my first month's experience with vivitrol and the lack of a substance that allowed me to be somebody that consistently lied and hurt those closest to me, and in the end caused more emotional damage to myself than anything.
    Anyone starting the path of recovery please remember 4 necessary things..
    Honesty to yourself and others
    Open mindedness to suggestion.
    And the Willingness to get back up and try again when you fall.
    But most importantly Find God.
    The debates over whether God is an old man with a white beard or an old lady called mother nature are silly to me. If you didn't know, the original definition of God is simply "I Am".
    I am your conscious thought, I am your joy and your sorrow, I am the love in your heart.
    Don't let the feelings that the 'being' that is God is anything other than you feel in your heart. Dont take the biblical information about God so seriously. Open your mind, breath and think clearly with no doubts or ideals of what God is or isn't blocking your ability to experience new things as we do all to often in other aspects of life.
    Feel. Love. Hope.


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    1. By the way, I am aware that being around the use of heroin and trying to substitute with meth is not the best steps in my recovery. But this is what addiction is, and I'm working towards having the strength to walk away from people I care about who can't let their addiction go. 8 years and I finally got 5 months clean thanks to jail and out of state inpatient. But now my legal problems forced me to come back to the only life I've known since I was 14. 2 days back and I relapsed, but a month later something in me still isn't ready to give up and I got this injection. For the family members of addicts going through this, realize how much strength it takes for your loved one to get the injection knowing he is giving up his life as he knows it. It may seem like such a simple thing, but for us this disease and the daily battle we wage with it is the hardest thing we will ever do.
      Fellow addicts, to whatever degree of despair your addiction took you too, it's definitely been a journey. Recovery isn't any less of a journey. Relapse happens, we are humans and we slip up. They call it the road to recovery for a reason. For some it's a pothole riddled 10 mile long gravel road and for some it's a mile long paved road. It's a journey of self discovery and security, understanding and faith. And whether you got stuck with the gravel or the paved, it seems to me like those people I know that stuck to the road they were dropped on and didn't give up all end up in the same place. And where ever that is, they're sober. That's enough for me to keep walking running and falling then getting back up until I finally get there myself :)

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    2. I am going to get off Subs and my doctor said she advised me to get the shot to get off Subs I hope it works

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  21. I just recieved the vivitrol shot this morning and I feel weird. Kind of like a zombie. Very blah! I'm depressed and I have anxiety. I am prescribed Xanax and need to take them . Is it ok to take Xanax with vivitrol?? So far I'm not impressed with this shot. I didn't have any withdrawal symptoms from the vivitrol shot because I had been clean 14 months and then relapsed on heroin for a week, went to detox for 7 days and then got the shot. But now I just feel very odd. I feel like my brain is not thinking the way it use to, which is good but I'm not use to this. And it happened so suddenly. Is that normal??

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  22. I have been taking the Vivitrol shot for about 4 months. I do get those occasional headaches as well. For me, that's a step way up from being addicted or dope sick.
    Unknown- I would say you are having PAWS (post acute withdrawal syndrome) and that is from the relapse, not the shot. PAWS can last up to a year. Neurontin (Gabapentin) prescribed by my addiction psychiatrist has been a life saver for the post acute symptoms- anxiety, depression, and "zombie-like." Between the Vivitrol shot and gabapentin, I have my life back.

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  23. I was in the same boat as you brotha. I was taking 7 blues a day started selling drugs to support my habit. Then got caught and lost my job my girl and was a step from being homeless. Then decided to get help went to an iop and they got me on suboxon witch is just as bad as using it's just a substitute and it's stronger then pills. 1 mg of sub equales 20 mg oxy you only prolonging your proses. If you wanna be clean you really need to want it. Like when u feen for that pill or fix that's how bad you should wanna be clean. Go to your doctor have him give you colonodine take it 3 times a day you won't feel the withdrawals at all I would say if anything from 1-10 I would say a 3. After 7 days get your shot. Don't get discouraged it's gonna be hard just tell your self your gonna do this and if you feel down call someone or go to a meeting. Your gonna feel shitty for about 20 days but each day get a little better you have to be patient. The longer you prolong it the worse it's gonna be and harder to get clean grab your ball stop beaing scared and get it done! Remember god won't put you in a position that you can't handel!

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  24. I have had a opiate addiction (pain pills) for the past 7 years on and off and finally decided to go in and get help I was in the treatment center for 5 days on my last day(yesterday) I received the Vivitrol shot.....i have been experiencing shakes jittery feelings restlessness muscle cramps and mild headaches but!!!!....no cravings for the pain meds i have no idea how long these feelings will last but i am opiate free which is a blessing all in its own, i just hope these feelings subside soon....

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  25. I just got my first injection of vivitrol yesterday. And I did a lot of research before I got the shot, and your blog was one I read. I just want to say Great Job on all your info and thank you so much. Wish the best to everyone that is going through the same struggle I have been for years. And the shot really is worth it if you willing to commit to it 100%

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