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Vivitrol vs Suboxone in Treating Opiate and Heroin Addiction

Posted on Thu Aug 25th, 2016 at 2:40 pm

A very informative read by New Hope Recovery Center on the Vivitrol vs Suboxone Debate...

Medication-assisted treatment for addiction to Heroin and other opiates (such as Vicodin and Oxycontin) has been common for decades. It has also been somewhat controversial because the medication-assisted treatment often involves providing medical substances similar to the addictive drug. Most recently the controversy has centered on two medications used for opiate addiction: vivitrol and suboxone. Although there is an abundant amount of information available on the internet – unfortunately not all of it is accurate. The choice whether to use medication to assist in opiate addiction rehab is a personal decision that is best made with accurate information and support from an informed addiction health care team. So what are the main differences between vivitrol and suboxone?

Vivitrol vs Suboxone

Suboxone combines Buprenorphine (an Opiate) with Naloxone (an Opiate Blocker). It is an orange colored film taken sublingually (under the tongue) daily and requires regular physician supervision.


Vivitrol is Naltrexone (an Opiate Blocker) in a suspended release injectable suspension. It is given as an injection and the effects last approximately one month. While both are effective in combating opiate (Heroin, Vicodin, & Oxycontin) cravings, there are some clear differences.

Suboxone is an opiate and an opiate blocker. As we all know opiates are addictive with unpleasant and even severe withdrawal symptoms. Many who have used Suboxone report the withdrawal symptoms to be as intense, or worse than, the original opiate. In order for it to be effective, it must be taken daily and to avoid experiencing withdrawal, must be continued indefinitely.


Vivitrol is purely an opiate blocker. Once an individual is opiate free for approximately 7 to 10 days, Vivitrol can be given safely with no side effects. It effectively combats opiate cravings, lasts for approximately one month and causes no further withdrawal symptoms. Most importantly, if someone were to use an opiate while on Vivitrol, they would feel no effect. Knowing the option of getting high is not available allows a person in early recovery the time and emotional energy to focus on developing an effective recovery program.


For long-term recovery from opiate addiction, a strong and supportive 12-step recovery program offers the best chance for success. With what we know today, Vivitrol is the preferred medication in dealing with opiate addiction. However, it is a personal choice best made with accurate information from an informed health care team.

Are you or a loved one suffering from Heroin, Vicodin, Oxycontin or other opiate addiction? Want more information about Vivtrol or Suboxone?


Written by: New Hope Recovery Center


For more information on New Hope Recovery Center, Vivitrol and Suboxone check out: Vivitrol: New Hope's Experience – An Important Aid for Opiate Addiction and What You Should Know About Vivitrol And Addiction Treatment

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