Shots and implants are definitely going to be a component of effective addiction treatment in the future (they already are).
Our treatment center believes in the philosophy that a spiritual change (or at least addressing underlying issues) is necessary for long term happiness without the drug of choice.
However, to get people comfortable enough to make this change we are very open to emerging technologies in addiction treatment. As examples we have written about the antabuse implants that are growing in popularity and also covered our own use of Suboxone (which reduces opiate cravings).
Vivitrol (Naltrexone) Shots
Vivitrol is a medication that blocks the euphoria caused by ingesting opiates and/or alcohol. Up to this point, patients who took Vivitrold did so by taking daily tablets. The problem thus far had been that if a dose is missed (accidentally or intentionally).
The FDA has recently approved a monthly shot of Vivitrol which will allow a steady stream of the active ingredient naltrexone to be released into the patients’ system.
The Long Term View
People who have not been really close to a person struggling with addiction (and those who don’t understand addiction) might argue that merely preventing the person from taking drugs for a long period will solve the addiction nightmare that person (and their entire supports system) is suffering.
As stated above, our treatment center believes that to treat addiction effectively, a much more holistic change is needed than merely stopping the drug intake. There are underlying issues and often a spiritual malady that needs to be addressed in the process of recovery for it to be effective and lasting for the long term.
Still, our facility also believes strongly that a day sober is a successful day – no matter how it was achieved. If using vivitrol shots and Suboxone implants will lead to reduced cravings that might make the difference for a patient to make it through one more day sober, then we are all for it.
It has been well documented that longer treatment is more effective and people who achieve certain “milestones” of sobriety are much more likely to achieve long term results (huge statistical increase at 3 month, 6 months, 9 months, and especially at 1 year). We believe that staying sober for an extended period builds momentum toward long term recovery and this is why our treatment facility tries to show our clients that every day is a fun day in Southern California. We are dedicated to keeping that person sober one more day by showing them that the sober life can be better than they ever imagined. If the client’s medical support system deems them appropriate for Vivitrol and Suboxone, then we will support their decision to do that.