Vivitrol and the Naltrexone Implants: Meant to Keep You Sober, But Are They Doing More Harm Than Good?

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painkillerNaltrexone is sold under the brand names ReVia and Vivitrol, and in the United States, this drug is usually taken in oral or injectable forms. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the naltrexone implant, which is surgically inserted under the skin and left in place for two to six months. The drugs are meant to not only reduce the cravings for opiates but are also meant to block the effects produced. They do both to a certain extent, more so the blocking the high. 

Addicts don’t usually quit doing drugs just because of a medication. We have seen it with other drugs such as Suboxone or even Antabuse. Suboxone is also meant to block the high and yet it ends up just being sold on the street, taken to get high, stopped, or individuals just use on top of it. Antabuse will make you sick when you drink alcohol, but many alcoholics will drink anyways regardless of how sick it will make them. It just goes to show that nothing is going to stop the addict from getting the relief they need. The reason being that their disease is comprised of not only a mental obsession to use, which the drugs don’t fix, but also a physical allergy which compels them to continue using, which the drugs do not fix as well. 

So as for Vivitrol or Naltrexone? Well all they are really doing is making the addict use more. Many addicts who are on these type of drugs don’t stop using drugs. The addicts on Vivitrol or Naltrexone will either switch their drug of choice to something such as benzodiazepines, cocaine or alcohol, or they will use MORE opiates in the hopes of overriding the Vivitrol and Naltrexone. Unfortunately both of these outcomes are more dangerous than the using by itself without the blockers. When an addict can’t feel the high they are trying to attain they don’t stop–they overshoot the mark. They do more and more, putting themselves at a greater risk of overdose.

Vivitrol which blocks the effects produced by opiates is basically asking the individual with an addiction to put more opiates into their system, and the more they do along with the less effects they feel–they will do EVEN more than that–quite possibly shutting down their bodies, slowing their breathing and eventually overdosing, never having attained the high they were trying so hard to get. 

Vivitrol and Naltrexone are not only ineffective, but they are dangerous. Making it so an addict can’t feel when they get high puts them at risk of using too much and overdosing. And it should be common knowledge that those with an addiction aren’t going to stop or  are not going to stop trying to get high just because they have gotten a shot or taken a pill. Like we said before this shot or oral tablet does not get rid of the obsession to use nor does it give the addict any sense of control or choice over their use. 

While these drugs may help some, for someone with an addiction that is comprised of a mental obsession and physical allergy, it is more dangerous than it is helpful. It can lead many addicts to become unaware of just how much of the opiates they have done–since they can’t feel it–leading them straight into an overdose or even death.