Tarzana Treatment Center Tarzana Treatment Center - Integrated Behavioral Healthcare - Call Now 1-888-777-8565

Addiction Nutrition

Addiction Treatment

Adolescent Alcohol Abuse

Adolescent Alcohol Treatment

Adolescent Alcohol Treatment – Los Angeles

Adolescent Co-Occurring Disorders

Adolescent Drug Abuse

Adolescent Drug Addiction

Adolescent Drug Test

Adolescent Drug Treatment

Adolescent Drug Treatment – Los Angeles

Adolescent Heroin Abuse

Adolescent Marijuana Abuse

Adolescent Mental Health

Adolescent Prescription Drug Abuse

Adolescent Substance Abuse

Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Alcohol Abuse Facts

Alcohol Abuse in College

Alcohol and Drug Treatment

Alcohol Awareness Month

Alcohol Cravings

Alcohol Dependence

Alcohol Detox

Alcohol Facts

Alcohol Intervention

Alcohol Rehab

Alcohol Tolerance

Alcohol Treatment

Alcohol Treatment - Los Angeles

Alcohol Use Quiz

Alcohol Withdrawal

Alumni Association

Behavioral Addictions

Benzodiazepine Abuse

Benzodiazepine Tolerance

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal

California Budget Issues

California Drug Trends

California Telehealth Network (CTN)

Cocaine Addiction

College Alcohol Abuse

Community Counseling

Community Healthcare

Community Involvement

Community Programs

Co-occurring Disorders

Covered CA

Domestic Violence

Drug Abuse Facts

Drug Addiction

Drug Dependence

Drug Detox

Drug Intervention

Drug Overdose

Drug Rehab

Drug Tolerance

Drug Treatment

Drug Treatment - Los Angeles

Drug Withdrawal

Drug Withdrawal Symptoms

Dual Diagnosis


Family Alcoholism

Family Drug Addiction

Gender Responsive Treatment

Gender Specific Treatment


Harm Reduction


Healthcare Integration

Healthy Way LA

Help With Alcohol

Help With Drugs

Heroin Addiction

Heroin Cravings

Heroin Detox

Heroin Treatment

Heroin Withdrawal

HIV and Drugs

HIV Test

HIV/AIDS Treatment

Homelessness and Addiction

Integrated Behavioral Healthcare


Learn About Addiction

LGBT Alcohol Treatment

LGBT Drug Treatment


Marijuana Addiction

Medical Care

Medical Detoxification


Medication Assisted Treatment

Mental Health Month

Mental Health Treatment


Methadone Maintenance

Methamphetamine Addiction

Methamphetamine Treatment


Military Alcohol Treatment

Military Drug Treatment

Military Mental Health Treatment

Naltrexone for Heroin

Naltrexone for Opiates

Native American Alcohol Dependence

Native American Alcohol Treatment

Native American Community Outreach

Native American Culture

Native American Drug Addiction

Native American Drug Treatment

Native Americans and Alcohol

Nicotine Addiction

Online Alcohol Treatment

Online Counseling

Online Drug Treatment

Online Medical Care

Online Mental Health Treatment

Online Therapy

Opiate Abuse

Opiate Addiction

Opiate Addiction Treatment

Opiate Cravings

Opiate Detox

Opiate Tolerance

Opiate Treatment

Opiate Withdrawal

Opioid Abuse

Opioid Detox

Opioid Treatment

Opioid Withdrawal

Pain Killer Addiction

Pain Killer Detox

Pain Killer Treatment

Pow Wow-Upcoming Events

Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription Drug Addiction

Prescription Drug Detox

Prescription Drug Overdose

Prescription Drug Side Effects

Prescription Drug Tolerance

Prescription Drug Treatment

Prescription Drug Withdrawal

Preventative Care

Primary Care

Promising Practices

Prop 36 Funding

Quitting Smoking

Recovery Month 2009

Recovery Month 2010

Relapse Issues

Relapse Prevention – Alcohol

Relapse Prevention – Drugs

Second Hand Smoke

Senior Alcohol Abuse

Senior Drug Abuse

Senior Medical Care

Senior Substance Use

Seniors Mental Health

Smoking Cessation

STD Awareness Month

Stimulant Addiction

Stimulant Detox

Stimulant Withdrawal

Substance Abuse Treatment

Technology in Health Care

Teen Alcohol Abuse

Teen Alcohol Treatment

Teen Drug Abuse

Teen Drug Addiction

Teen Drug Testing

Teen Drug Treatment

Teen Marijuana Abuse

Teen Prescription Drug Abuse

Teen Recovery



Telemental Health

Temporary Housing


Third-Hand Smoke


Tobacco – Youth

Treatment Advocacy

Treatment News

Upcoming Events

Veteran Women Treatment

Veterans – Homelessness

Veterans Alcohol and Drug Treatment

Veterans Alcohol Treatment

Veterans and Prescription Drugs

Veterans Drug Addiction

Veterans Drug Detox

Veterans Drug Treatment

Veterans Mental Health Treatment


Vivitrol for Heroin

Vivitrol for Opiates




Women-only Treatment

Youth Alcohol Abuse

Youth Alcohol Treatment

Youth Drug Abuse

Youth Drug Addiction

Youth Drug Treatment

Youth Marijuana Abuse

Youth Prescription Drug Abuse


Using Vivitrol to Promote Recovery

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles is participating in Recovery Month 2009, in part, with articles about recovery during the month of September.  Most individuals suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction begin their recovery with alcohol and drug treatment.  So it is our pleasure to help bring awareness to the general public about the benefits of recovery to individuals, their families, and everyone with whom they interact.

Early recovery brings many challenges for those suffering from alcohol dependence.  Relapse, the biggest challenge, has the power to reverse and possibly erase all progress during this time.  Since alcohol cravings are a major relapse trigger, it is a good thing that advances are being made in medication assisted treatment.

For those who do not suffer from alcoholism, these cravings may be difficult to understand.  An easy way to get the picture is to think of a favorite food.  Did your mouth begin to water? The difference, of course, is that alcohol is deadly to the alcoholic.  But even after many years of abstinence, the sight of James Bond with a martini can bring similar reactions to an alcoholic in recovery.

Although these cravings subside in frequency over time, they can be downright overwhelming in early recovery.  Motivation for recovery can help carry individuals past cravings as they occur.  But most of the time, a relapse is the result.  When questioned as to why they drank, they answer with an indication that they were only trying to satisfy an intense craving.

Researchers understand craving for alcohol in different ways depending on their disciplinary backgrounds.  Psychologists may use concepts of reinforcement, social learning or cognitive processing to explain why we crave alcohol.

-- Begin external content –

Many theoretical models attempt to explain the phenomena associated with craving. Although no single model accounts for all aspects of craving, each has elements that may eventually contribute to an overall, comprehensive model. Key characteristics of selected models are described below.

  • The reinforcement model is based on alcohol's ability to produce an elevated mood or to help relieve an unpleasant mental state such as stress or anger. An unconscious learning process called reinforcement leads to repetition of the behavior (i.e., drinking) that produces the positive experience. Eventually, objects, environments, or emotions consistently associated with alcohol consumption can produce a similar response as powerfully as can alcohol itself. Such stimuli (i.e., cues) may include the sight of a bar, liquor store, or beverage advertisement; the company of friends who drink; or exposure to alcohol itself. An abstinent alcoholic exposed to appropriate cues will experience a conscious urge, or craving, for alcohol.
  • According to the social learning model, cue-elicited craving during or after treatment can trigger conscious coping strategies aimed at maintaining abstinence. The success of coping depends on the drinker's confidence in his or her ability to resist the urge to drink. This model acknowledges craving as only one of several factors necessary to induce relapse.
  • The cognitive processing model postulates that alcohol use becomes a habit which requires little conscious effort or attention, just as driving down a familiar road can become automatic. In this model, craving represents the effort involved in mobilizing conscious problem-solving skills needed to block the automatic drinking behavior. Such a situation may occur when a drinker finds that his favorite bar is unexpectedly closed. Similarly, following treatment, an alcoholic who is motivated to remain abstinent might experience craving while consciously attempting to avoid cue-induced relapse.

-- Source: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa54.htm  --

Neuroscience explains craving based on brain chemistry, specifically on the regulation of the neurotransmitters endogenous opioids and dopamine.  So medications have been developed with a purpose to reduce alcohol cravings for those in recovery.  Simply put, when the spigot of chemicals is turned down or off, cravings are less likely to manifest.

-- Begin external content --

Medications to interrupt the process of reinforcement are being investigated. The key neurotransmitters involved in reinforcement include the endogenous opioids and dopamine. The endogenous opioids are a group of brain chemicals similar in action to morphine. They appear to amplify the pleasurable effects of rewarding activities and have been shown to help maintain drinking behavior. Naltrexone helps prevent relapse and reduce craving by blocking certain opioid receptors, presumably reducing the pleasurable effect of alcohol.

-- Source: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa33.htm --

Tarzana Treatment Centers Los Angeles has been using Vivitrol with patients for over a year beginning in September 2008.  We’ve provided the medication to over 120 patients in the past year.  Vivitrol is Naltrexone in the form of a monthly injection which blocks the euphoria associated with alcohol use.   Patients report that cravings for alcohol and other drugs are reduced.

Tarzana’s experience with Vivitrol began with participation in a pilot project sponsored by Los Angeles County Alcohol and Drug Program Administration and Alkermes, the manufacturer of Vivitrol.  Use of Vivitrol at Tarzana has been greatly expanded through the Alkermes Touchpoints program.   Touchpoints provides the initial Vivitrol injection to any patient free of charge.   

Follow-up interviews with Vivitrol patients in treatment indicate positive results overall.  Patients who have relapsed on several prior occasions, with little recovery time, reported greater motivation and hope after being injected with Vivitrol.  So Vivitrol does indeed appear to aid those in alcohol treatment toward long term recovery.

At Tarzana Treatment Centers we use the Urge to Drink Scale to assess patients for medication assisted treatment with Vivitrol.  During the admission process they are informed about the use of Vivitrol and given literature explaining details about the medication.  We are also finding that our Vivitrol patients are privately recommending it to other patients who are approved for use.

While Vivitrol is not a miracle drug, it has proven to be effective for many patients as a helpful tool on the road to long term recovery.  This medication assisted treatment may not stop relapse from occurring, but it offers a solution to alcohol cravings which tend to lead to relapse in early recovery.  This is not just about reducing an annoyance.  With reduced alcohol cravings patients can focus more on other issues that may trigger a relapse, thus giving them an even greater chance at long term recovery.

If you would like more information about medication assisted treatment with Vivitrol at Tarzana Treatment Centers, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or email at vivitrol@tarzanatc.org.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

Email Post