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Signs of Vivitrol Addiction

What is Vivitrol?

Vivitrol is a prescription pain medication. It is an opioid, like its cousin, morphine, however it is much weaker. The medication is usually prescribed for patients with chronic pain cause by conditions such as fibromyalgia and arthritis. It comes in many forms such as capsules, tablets, powders, suppositories and effervescent tablets.

Vivitrol is not federally regulated but is considered a class IV controlled drug in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, North Dakota, Illinois, Mississippi, New Mexico, Wyoming, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and the U.S. military. Other states are considering making it a controlled substance as well. Perhaps because it is not a federally controlled substance, Vivitrol is being prescribed more and more by doctors because they believe it to be less addictive than other pain medications such as Oxycontin and Vicodin. This has lead to Vivitrol being available without a prescription at numerous exploitative pharmacies and its distribution is for the most part, unregulated.

Since Vivitrol is prescribed for those with chronic pain, it is often taken for more than 90 days which increases the chances that patients will become addicted to the drug. Over time, the patient builds a tolerance for the drug and needs to take more of it to achieve pain relief, which leads to dependence on the drug.

Signs of Vivitrol Dependence

Vivitrol dependence is different from addiction. Those who are dependent on the drug may exhibit the following signs:

  • Use of the medication in a different way than prescribed
  • Taking more than prescribed
  • Lying about losing the medication to get more
  • Attempting to refill the medication before a refill is required
  • Going to several doctors to get more prescriptions for the medication
  • Asking others who take the medication for their pills
  • Stealing pills from others
  • Constantly thinking about where the next dose is coming from

Patients that become dependent on Vivitrol find it hard to get through their day without the medication. They do not feel "normal" without it. If a patient exhibits any of these signs, they should get help for their Vivitrol dependence. If the dependence is not curbed or eliminated, in time it will become an addiction.

Signs of Vivitrol Addiction

Vivitrol addiction is different from Vivitrol dependence. Obviously, the patient becomes dependent on the drug before he becomes addicted. The difference is that someone who is addicted does not even know it until they are without the drug. Withdrawal symptoms quickly set in when addicts do not have the drug. These symptoms are very similar to what anyone addicted to an opiate, such as morphine or heroin, would experience without the drug. Symptoms include but are not limited to the following:

  • Intense pain
  • Insomnia
  • Cold sweats
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Tremors
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Addiction can also come about voluntarily. There are those who take Vivitrol not to relieve pain but to get a high and enjoy the euphoria that abusing the drug can provide. Naturally if they are taking the drug for pleasure, they are not abiding by any of the rules of prescription. They are much more likely to take more than the recommended dose which eventually leads to dependence and addiction.

Help for Vivitrol Addiction

If you or someone you love is dependent on or addicted to Vivitrol, there is help. Many drug treatment programs are equipped to deal with addiction to pain medication. Treatment can consist of outpatient meetings and therapy or sometimes inpatient therapy. Some programs offer ultra rapid detoxification, which quickly rids the body of the drug and ends physical addiction, which may work well for some patients. Others may need a more gradual approach to finally rid them of the dependence. Whatever the patient chooses, they will still need therapy and follow up for an extended amount of time after they complete the treatment program.

If you or a loved one is addicted to Vivitrol please seek medical attention before attempting to stop using the drug. Often, withdrawal from the drug can result in seizures and without medical attention, seizures may lead to death. Addiction is a physical medical condition that requires medical attention to treat. You should not do it alone. You do not have to do it alone. Contact your local drug rehabilitation centers or call Narcotics Anonymous for more help.

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