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A Monthly Vivitrol Injection Helps Patients Stay Sober

Monthly Vivitrol injections are shown to reduce cravings for alcohol and other opiates, as well as block the euphoric feelings addicts get when using, thus helping reinforce treatment.

St. Louis, MO- February 2021 – INSynergy was one of the first treatment centers in the St. Louis area to provide FDA approved Vivitrol (Naltrexone IM) to treat patients battling addiction.  Today, INSynergy is the only clinic in our region offering Vivitrol to patients not enrolled in its treatment program. 

Vivitrol is a once-a-month injection of Naltrexone IM, which has been proven highly effective in addiction treatment of those addicted to opiates (ex. alcohol, prescription pain medication, Heroin, Fentanyl).  Vivitrol, which is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurers, is used to treat alcohol dependence and prevent relapse to opioid dependence.

“Vivitrol is a two-pronged attack. Minimize the cravings and stop the euphoria from the substance,” said Rick Flanagan, INSynergy’s Lead Counselor. “It is a very helpful tool in recovery.”

Vivitrol works by blocking the opiate receptor in the brain –  the part of the brain which creates the feeling of euphoria, especially when a person drinks alcohol or takes opiates.  The shots also help block cravings, helping patients stay engaged in treatment.

“Vivitrol is remarkably effective,” said Ashley Halker, INSynergy’s Director of Operations. “It allows us to stabilize the addiction so we can focus on the other variables that are contributing to the problem, such as mental health issues, family issues, trauma, medical issues, sleep disorders or even a genetic disorder.”

Vivitrol is a form of a medication called Naltrexone, which has been used for decades to treat substance abuse.

The important difference is Naltrexone is a pill that has to be taken by the patient daily. Vivitrol is a shot that stays working in the patient’s body for approximately a month following injection.

“The option of an injection is very helpful,” said Arturo Taca, M.D., INSynergy’s Founder and Medical Director. “It’s a matter of compliance. Some people struggling with addiction just don’t take the pill. So, Vivitrol addresses the serious complication of noncompliance. You can’t stop a once-a-month injection, which means we see better outcomes versus the daily pill.”

“I think it really works,” said Tom, an INSynergy alumnus who used Vivitrol to help overcome his alcoholism. “Also, thinking it works helps because so much of the issue with any of this is what’s right between your ears.”

Another alumnus, Jimmy, also had praise for Vivitrol.

“Vivitrol was very effective for me,” he said.  “Throw the kitchen sink at me. Give me every possible chance that I can use to get through this.”

Dr. Taca says treating substance abuse patients with Vivitrol is similar to treating any other medical condition, like diabetes.

“You are going to give people medicines for diabetes, but you also ask them to make some changes in their life,” Dr. Taca said. “They have to put down cigarettes, they have to lose some weight.  Vivitrol is a tool. It’s not a cure. But it can prevent an early death from addiction.”

For more information about how Vivitrol can help treat addiction, you can learn more at

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