Medication-Assisted Therapy or MAT

Like that irritating relative people say is "antagonistic" at
dinner parties, naltrexene is antagonistic to opiates. It
prevents opiates from producing a high, or euphoria.
Image from

Sometimes drugs are combined with psychosocial therapies to help treat addiction and alcohol use disorders. 

Vivitrol shots are one of many options available in the treatment of addiction, and may be indicated (medically appropriate) for some individuals recovering from alcohol or opiate abuse. Vivitrol shots are available at The Counseling Center.

What is Vivitrol?

Vivitrol is a brand name for an extended-release formulation of naltrexone, a chemical classified as an opiate antagonist. Like that irritating relative people say is "antagonistic" at dinner parties, naltrexone is antagonistic to opiates. It prevents them from producing the high, or euphoria.

Like with methadone maintenance, since naltrexone's chemical structure is similar to heroin and painkillers, it is recognized as an opioid within the body. This helps those keeping up with regular Vivitrol shots avoid withdrawal symptoms, which may help them stay in recovery. It can also reduce cravings, helping support recovery by reducing he risk of relapse.

For reasons that are still not fully understood, naltrexone has also been clinically proven to be effective in reducing cravings for some people in treatment for alcohol abuse.

Vivitrol Shots

The idea behind using drugs like naltrexone in a maintenance or medication-assisted treatment program is to help those who otherwise cannot stay in recovery, by removing the "getting high" aspect of using, while helping to prevent the onset of withdrawal. Individuals entering treatment with a history of prior relapse may be good candidates for medication-assisted treatment.

An extended-release, injectable suspension of naltrexone can block the effectiveness of abused drugs and alcohol long after the shot is delivered. Vivitrol shots are commonly repeated every 3-4 weeks, for those dependent upon them.

Where Vivitrol can enable an individual to keep engaged with a treatment program, and continue healing in recovery, it may be clinically appropriate.

Vivitrol: Not for Everyone, but Needed by Some

Like all therapies at The Counseling Center, Vivitrol shots are available based on clinical assessment by your counselor, and administered under the supervision of qualified medical specialists.

Just as medication-assisted therapies are necessary for some to survive in recovery, they can be dangerous for others who are better served by combinations of counseling, other treatments, and an abstinence-focused addiction treatment program.

Naltrexone cannot be administered to someone actively using opioids. When combined with opioids, naltrexone can cause a fast onset of severe withdrawal symptoms, which can be quite dangerous when improperly handled.

While there are strong scientific studies confirming the utility of naltrexone in treatment for alcohol abuse, the use of naltrexone in medication-assisted treatment for opiate use disorder is still new.

Is Vivitrol for You?

Treatment at The Counseling Center starts with an essential Clinical Assessment. This required assessment will consider the potential risks and benefits of Vivitrol (naltrexone) for your use, in the context of a treatment plan.

At The Counseling Center, Counselors will work closely with you on all issues related to treatment, including the suitability of Vivitrol for managing cravings and reducing relapse risk, while engaged in treatment for addiction, alcohol or drug abuse disorders.

Schedule Your Clinical Assessment

To learn more about Vivitrol and medication-assisted therapy available in our Outpatient and Intensive Outpatient programs, call us at any time day or night. We are here to help, and are eager to help get you started: 855-788-8247

Visit for important information about naltrexone and how this drug works.

Join Us: Start with a
Confidential Clinical Assessment

The Counseling Center at West Caldwell is an outpatient addiction treatment and behavioral health center, staffed with certified and experienced clinical professionals. Eligibility is determined with a confidential clinical assessment, which is performed in person at The Counseling Center.

Adults and adolescents seeking treatment for addiction, alcoholism, mental/behavioral health conditions, or any of the commonly co-occurring disorders associated with addiction and substance abuse, may participate in our award-winning Outpatient Therapy, Intensive Outpatient Therapy, Individual, or Group counseling, based on clinical assessment. To schedule call 855-788-8247 .

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