In a study believed to be the first that directly compares the two medications, researchers found that once-a-month Vivitrol treatment is just as effective as daily buprenorphine treatment. The Norwegian study, which was released earlier this month, found that Vivitrol was equal to more frequently administered maintenance medications in terms of safety and efficacy in helping opioid-dependent people refrain from illicit drug use during a three-month period. The study’s findings can have significant impact for Vivitrol treatment in Texas and the rest of the United States, where methadone and Suboxone are the standard methods of treatment for opioid addiction maintenance.
Vivitrol treatment is the first-ever monthly treatment for opioid addiction. It is also used to treat alcoholism. It was approved in 2010 and has since been slow to be used by many treatment facilities. This study may prove to increase the prevalence of Vivitrol treatment in Texas treatment centers. While the two treatments work in very different ways, there is much less of a risk of diversion with a once-a-month, slow-acting injection. Suboxone abuse has proven to be a problem as patients very often wind up trading one addiction for another. The withdrawal effects of Suboxone mirror those of heroin or prescription opioids.
It’s important to remember that Vivitrol or any other opioid maintenance medication is not meant to replace other aspects of treatment. Rehab facilities that offer Vivitrol treatment in Texas should also offer acute medical detox, comprehensive rehab and behavior modification and customized aftercare plans to help them stay focused on their long-term recovery. These drugs are not mean to be a quick fix; however, they can aid tremendously in helping patients gradually wean themselves off of opioids. Patients should speak with their doctors to determine if Vivitrol or any other opioid maintenance medication is right for them.