Vivitrol: Solution to Opioid Addiction or Gateway to Meth?

vivitrol can lead to meth abuse

At this point, calling the opioid problem, meth problem, and benzo problem anything other than a major, overall drug crisis would just be inaccurate. Drugs are everywhere and have affected nearly everyone in the U.S. Drug abuse is so widespread that treatment centers and detoxes are filled to the brim with addicts, hopeful they might finally have the opportunity to escape the lifestyle and change their lives.

Along with rehabs offering the hope of ending the cycle of addiction, medications, injections, implants, “natural supplements,” ad nauseum say they’re the “magic cure.” As with anything else that claims to be a quick fix, these treatment routes definitely have their downsides. More and more addicts and physicians are seeing the Vivitrol injection as the best way to handle opioid addiction and get users to put down the needle for good and get sober, however, there has been recent speculation that Vivitrol might actually be acting as some sort of gateway into methamphetamine abuse.

Vivitrol is a monthly injection of an opioid blocker. It shuts off an addict’s ability to get high from opioids and is usually used a prophylactic measure against relapse. Some people claim that Vivitrol is all you need to get over your opioid addiction and others believe it should be used in conjunction with other types of therapy. But what Vivitrol doesn’t do is actually handle the core issues that drive a person to use drugs. All it does is shut off the ability to get high if you do a bunch of opioids, but you can still get high on every other drug under the sun. With the methamphetamine problem going at full-speed, more and more opioid addicts seem to be switching over to meth as their new drug of choice. One reason could be that more opioid addicts are using meth to get through their withdrawals (which I absolutely did) and the other reason could lie in the fact that addicts who take monthly Vivitrol injections and don’t participate in any kind of drug rehab program still have unhandled underlying issues, so it makes sense that they’d end up on meth as a way of dealing with their problems. Remember, drugs are a solution to a problem for addicts. So, when Vivitrol blocks your ability to get high on painkillers and heroin and you need something to take the edge off, meth is the next, most widely available drug at your fingertips.

I would never say that Vivitrol itself is leading addicts into meth abuse, but what I am saying is that it’s not a cure-all for addiction. Blocking an addict’s ability to get high on one specific drug will just likely cause them to move onto one where they can. There are no “silver bullets” to addiction. Getting sober and getting off drugs takes time, motivation, perseverance, dedication, and of course, a good drug rehab program that will handle an addict’s core issues that drive them into the loving arms of drug dealers day after day after day.


Jason Good

Jason has been working in the field of addiction and recovery for over 10 years. Having been an addict himself he brings real-word experience to the table when helping addicts and their families, while also offering a first-person perspective to the current drug crisis. Jason is passionate about educating the public about what’s currently going on in our society, and thankfully, offers practical solutions. Jason is also the co-host of The Addiction Podcast—Point of No Return. You can follow Jason on Google+, Twitter, or connect with him on LinkedIn.