What is Vivitrol? Vivitrol is an extended release Naltrexone. It is a non-addictive medication to prevent relapse in opioid addicted people and is given by injection once a month. Vivitrol blocks opioid receptors in the brain so that if opioids are used, there are rendered ineffective, in other words, the user gets no high. Abstinence compliance is greatly improved because the person receiving the injection can’t undo it once it is given. They can feel confident that using opioids will not get them high and they can focus on dealing with the psychological effects of their addiction. Some even say that cravings are lessened which helps the person focus on recovery and may help prevent relapse.
In 2016-2017, Representative John Nygren and the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC) initiated a Vivitrol Treatment Pilot Program for incarcerated individuals in a few Wisconsin counties. In 2017 there were 150 graduates from the program. Although data on how program participants are doing now is unavailable as of this writing, according to DrugAbuse.com, in at least one study, participants who received a Vivitrol injection once per month for six months were opiate-free 90 percent of the time. I hope to see updates on the participants progress and I hope a similar program makes its way to Milwaukee County.