Vivitrol and Counseling

Are You Looking For Help Managing Your Life After Vivitrol Treatment?

Have you recently begun Vivitrol injections and want to make sure that this attempt at recovery really takes? Have you been through treatment for addiction before but felt that there was an essential element missing from the healing process? Do you worry that after all your painful work, the scrutiny and suspicion of family and friends will trigger a relapse? Long term success is more likely when you pair Vivitrol and Counseling together as part of your robust recovery plan.

Perhaps you finally feel free from your addiction but worry about future cravings or returning to old behaviors. Or maybe you have witnessed friends break their habit with the assistance of medication only to relapse, or even die from an overdose, once treatment has concluded.

Any of these factors can create an incredible amount of stress for someone trying to overcome addiction. And if you are struggling to develop the life skills needed to sustain your recovery outside of treatment, it can naturally be distressing.

Vivitrol and Counseling is a combination that offers something more than a lifetime reliance on another replacement drug, such as Methadone. Therapy used in conjunction with Vivitrol can fill crucial gaps in the healing process and can increase your chances of sustainable recovery.


Addiction Is A Real Disease

Addiction can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, religion, or economic background. It can affect your relationships, career, physical health, and nearly every aspect of your life.

For some individuals, medication-assisted treatment for addiction may be the best answer. Unfortunately, many people find that this approach lacks an integral part of the healing process; something that addresses life after recovery begins. That is true – medication alone is simply not enough and medication is never a solution for addiction. There is no “miracle pill” or ready-made “cure”. And more fear and confusion comes in as some people seeking help are simply given a replacement drug, such as Methadone or Suboxone, that can uphold as much dependency as the originally abused substance. They can also be even harder to get off of.

That’s why Vivitrol can seem like a miracle solution—and why, in some ways, it can be—if properly coupled with counseling. Vivitrol is a non-habit-forming, opiate-free treatment that suppresses cravings and blocks the euphoric effects of alcohol and various drugs. However, despite its power to assist in recovery, many people fall victim to addiction for reasons that Vivitrol alone cannot address.

For instance, it could be that anxiety, depression, or an unresolved traumatic event may be fueling your addiction. Or you may lack the skills to navigate certain aspects of your old life that may trigger relapses, such as holidays, special occasions, or other social events.

Fortunately, Vivitrol counseling can help you prepare for life outside of treatment by giving you the tools and skills necessary for managing old behaviors in the face of new challenges. It also gives you the profound opportunity to understand the reason for your addiction so that you can free yourself from the past and learn greater self-reliance.

Vivitrol Therapy Can Prepare You For A New Life

Counseling, in addition to medication-assisted recovery, can be extremely effective for safeguarding you from relapse. Therapy helps you find the inner resilience to meet obstacles without turning to drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism. Where medication treats the part of you that is in pain now, counseling helps you resolve underlying factors that may be driving your addiction so that you can treat the disease from within as well as from without.

One of the biggest struggles individuals in recovery face is learning how to deal with their new life. My clients often wonder, “How can I go back to work or face the people I have let down? How do I communicate honestly with my child or partner about my situation? How do I acknowledge their struggle and bear their pain—or my own guilt?”

Many people recovering from addiction experience similar thoughts, which is why I offer you a space of compassionate support and understanding to work through these challenges. And although you may need to atone for some of your behaviors or actions, remember that no one ever decides to become an addict. With that understanding, you have the choice to carry this pain or take steps to improve your life.

Is Vivitrol By Itself Enough?

In my professional opinion, no. What medications attempt to do and what we learn through counseling and community are very different. Most of the time when treating addiction, medications tend to target and impact thresholds for mood; like depression and anxiety, to assist with sleep and initially of course, to keep you safe during the detox phase and you go through withdrawal. Counseling helps with the thoughts and feelings that come up during recovery; grief, anger, resentment, shame, guilt, worry, low self-worth and so on. Medications do not and cannot address these. Counseling is necessary. Medications may also be necessary. I understand that addiction affects everyone differently. Regardless of where you or your loved one is in treatment, I can offer you hope and solutions that speak to your individual needs.

For instance, I can show you how to handle family stress and set healthy boundaries that balance your loved ones’ good intentions with your need for privacy and independence. And I can give you practical guidance for navigating celebrations, recreational activities, or social situations so that you can genuinely enjoy yourself while still feeling safe from temptations.

I can also offer you effective strategies for regulating your emotional reactivity so that you can cope with future life challenges without relapsing. In most cases, your family members are welcome to attend sessions (at your discretion) and I do offer family workshops so that your loved ones can share in your expectations for recovery as well as your success.

I truly believe that with your commitment and our collaboration, you can learn to create a new life for yourself that is independent of your addiction or pharmaceutical crutches. You can learn to be more present in the lives of your children, your partner, and family without the reliance on substances or treatment. In short, with a little work, you can enrich almost every area of your life.

I am considering Vivitrol therapy, but I still have a few questions and concerns…

I feel great. Why do I need counseling?

Vivitrol keeps you clean and sober, but it doesn’t produce fundamental life changes on its own. Moreover, the factors that originally motivated your addictive behaviors are still out there. Counseling provides you with essential skills for navigating life after Vivitrol. Additionally, counseling helps you identify triggers so that you can head off possible relapses in the future.

I am afraid that the addiction will never go away.

Addiction is a disease that develops subtly but never quite disappears. It begins in the way in which streets are formed from farm roads—and highways from rural routes. Only, addiction can carve out ruts that keep you stuck in a cycle of suffering.

Addiction counseling allows you to create new farm roads and highways of thought that are independent of former behaviors. It gives you the ability to draw your own roadmap for achieving happiness and independence. Using your new direction, you can bypass the pitfalls of old behaviors long after your treatments have concluded.

I think I have that old part of myself in check.

Counseling is not just a matter of repairing the old; it’s also about developing greater self-awareness and learning how to navigate the new and often foreign territory in your life. Therapy is about creating new horizons for yourself and adopting a positive life philosophy that will comfort you in times of need.

Life After Addiction Can Be Beautiful

If you are in recovery for addiction and using Vivitrol to assist in beginning the healing process, I can help. Please call (346) 493-6181 for a free 15-minute consultation to see how I may be able to help you prepare for life after addiction treatment.

Ben Carrettin is a Nationally Board Certified Counselor (NCC), Nationally Board Certified Master Addiction Counselor (MAC) and Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor (LPC-S). He has been in practice in Houston for over 20 years and is the owner of Practice Improvement Resources, LLC; a private business which offers an array of specialized counseling, evidenced-based clinical consultation, Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) and targeted ESI-based services to individuals and businesses.