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Medication Assisted Treatment

Medication Assisted Treatment at NorthShore

NorthShore Health Centers now offers addiction counseling through Frontline Foundations. However, in some cases, medication assisted treatment (MAT) might be needed in addition to counseling to help address the physical changes that addiction can have on the brain.

NorthShore Health Centers has collaborated with Frontline Foundations in an effort to provide access to Vivitrol services to patients in need within the community. A select number of NorthShore providers oversee the medical services within the program and give the injections to the patients monthly. Patients in the program are required to participate in counseling services provided by Frontline Foundations.

Vivitrol is an opioid antagonist that blocks the effects of the drugs. It contains naltrexone, an opioid antagonist that is non-pleasure producing. This means that the patient will not experience a high and the patient will not experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop treatment.

During a 6 month long study on the effect of Vivitrol use for opioid addiction, those who received the drug were 17 times less likely to relapse to physical dependence, had a 55% decline in opioid cravings from baseline, had 90% opioid free weeks, and stayed in treatment longer than those who received a placebo.

During a 6 month long study on the effect of Vivitrol use for alcohol dependence, those who received the drug reported a 25% greater reduction in days of heavy drinking than those who received the placebo.

Vivitrol is administered every 4 weeks. If a patient misses their dose of Vivitrol, they should be seen to receive the next dose as soon as they can. A minimum of 7-10 days opioid free prior to beginning Vivitrol is recommended.

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