(naltrexone for extended-release injectable suspension)Vivitrol is a non-addictive, non-narcotic medication.
It does not react aversely with alcohol. It reduces cravings, helps achieve abstinence and blunts the affects of alcohol euphoria. Vivitrol also blocks the effects of opiates and reduces the cravings for opiates.
Vivitrol appears to break the self destructive, vicious cycle in alcoholics whereby one drink leads to multiple. When comparing abstinence rates at 6 months as a measure of success, studies have shown that Vivitrol works about 3 times better than counseling alone.
Vivitrol is indicated for opioid dependence which is generally viewed as a more intractable disease than alcoholism. In a study which included counseling, (like what is provided by Dr. Simon), 901% of those on Vivitrol were abstinent for 19 weeks compared to 35% of those on placebo.
In addition to improving compliance, the drug has an anti-craving effect and what the FDA called an anti-relapse effect. Patients who “slipped” (which is defined as a brief relapse) were better able to get back to abstinence with Vivitrol.