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What Happens If You Drink on Vivitrol?

Written By: Erika Dalton, LCSW

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Rahul Gupta, MD

Last Updated: March 8, 2023

Vivitrol is a medication that is used to help individuals overcome addiction to alcohol and opioids. It is often prescribed to individuals who have already undergone our detox in Atlanta and are looking for a way to stay sober. At Buckhead Behavioral Health, our team of addiction experts offers Vivitrol as a form of Medication-Assisted Treatment. But, what happens if you drink on Vivitrol? If you drink on Vivitrol, you will feel the same euphoric effects as you would if you were drinking regularly but can have dire consequences.

What is Vivitrol?

Vivitrol is an extended-release injection that contains naltrexone, which is a medication that blocks the effects of opioids and alcohol in the brain. While Vivitrol can be effective in helping individuals maintain sobriety, it is important to understand what can happen if you drink while on Vivitrol.

It is essential to understand that Vivitrol is not a cure for addiction. Individuals who are on Vivitrol still need to attend therapy and participate in other recovery activities in order to maintain their sobriety.

What Are The Effects of Drinking on Vivitrol?

One of the main risks of drinking while on Vivitrol is that it can decrease the effectiveness of the medication. Naltrexone works by blocking the opioid receptors in the brain, which can help to reduce cravings and prevent relapse. However, if an individual drinks alcohol while on Vivitrol, it can reduce the amount of naltrexone that is available to block these receptors. This can make it easier for the individual to experience the pleasurable effects of alcohol, which can increase the risk of relapse.

In addition to decreasing the effectiveness of Vivitrol, drinking alcohol while Vivitrol can also increase the risk of overdose. Vivitrol blocks the effects of opioids, which means that individuals who are on the medication will not be able to get high from opioids. However, if an individual drinks alcohol while on Vivitrol and then tries to use opioids, they may be more likely to overdose because the medication is still in their system.

Another potential risk of drinking while on Vivitrol is that it can increase the risk of liver damage. Alcohol is processed by the liver, and excessive drinking can cause damage to this vital organ. If an individual is on Vivitrol and drinks alcohol regularly, they may be at increased risk of long-term effects of alcohol abuse, including liver damage.

It is also important to note that drinking while on Vivitrol can increase the risk of developing other health problems. For example, individuals who drink heavily while on the medication may be at increased risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, and other health problems.

What Are The Side Effects of Vivitrol?

When individuals drink alcohol while taking Vivitrol, they may still experience the usual side effects of alcohol consumption, and some side effects might even be intensified due to the interaction with the medication.

Below are general potential side effects and considerations:

Side Effects of Alcohol:

  • Impaired coordination and judgment
  • Slurred speech
  • Slowed reflexes
  • Memory problems
  • Liver damage (with chronic use)
  • Increased risk of accidents and injuries

Interaction Concerns:

  • Increased Sensitivity: Vivitrol may make some individuals more sensitive to the effects of alcohol.
  • Liver Damage: Both alcohol and Vivitrol can cause liver damage. Drinking alcohol while on Vivitrol could increase the risk of liver damage.

Side Effects of Vivitrol:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Anxiety
  • Tiredness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle or joint pain

Serious Side Effects:

  • Severe vomiting and diarrhea
  • Depression and suicidal thoughts
  • Pneumonia
  • Severe liver damage

It’s crucial to understand that individual reactions to Vivitrol and alcohol can vary widely. The listed side effects are not exhaustive, and others may occur. Always consult with healthcare professionals for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and discuss the potential risks of drinking alcohol while being treated with Vivitrol or any other medication.

What Do I Do If I Drank While on Vivitrol?

So, what happens if you drank on Vivitrol? The best course of action is to talk to your healthcare provider about your concerns or call us at 470-460-6789 and we can help you with your next step.

It is also important to have a strong support system in place. This can include friends, family members, and support groups or a Partial Hospitalization Program or our Intensive Outpatient Program in Atlanta. These individuals and program settings can provide you with emotional support and help you stay accountable as you work towards sobriety.

Drinking while on Vivitrol can have serious consequences. It can decrease the effectiveness of the medication, increase the risk of overdose, and cause other health problems. If you are on Vivitrol and are struggling with the temptation to drink, our Atlanta Alcohol rehab can help you develop new skills and coping mechanisms to stay sober for the long term.

Find Alcohol Rehab in Georgia Today!

If you are on Vivitrol and are struggling with the temptation to drink, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider and develop a plan for maintaining your sobriety. You can stay on track and achieve lasting recovery with the right support and guidance. At Buckhead Behavioral Health, in Atlanta, Georgia, our immersive outpatient rehab can help you get back on track while still attending school or work. Learn more about rehab insurance coverage and our admissions process today!

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