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Vivitrol FDA Approved for Opiate Relapse Prevention

by James Heller 20. October 2010 13:05
Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles is thrilled at the news that the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Vivitrol for use in opioid addiction treatment.  The evidence was clear to us that Vivitrol reduced opiate cravings, but the FDA went one step further in approving it for the “prevention of relapse to opioid dependence.”  This means that we can finally say what we’ve also known for a long time; Vivitrol prevents relapse.

Tarzana Treatment Centers offers Vivitrol for alcohol treatment and opiate treatment as part of our Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program.  It is a Naltrexone injection taken monthly that reduces alcohol cravings and opiate cravings.  This allows individuals in recovery to focus on addiction treatment, and offers a better chance at long-term recovery.  For more information about the FDA approval and Vivitrol, click the link below for the press release by Vivitrol manufacturer, Alkermes.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/alkermes-announces-fda-approval-of-vivitrolr-for-prevention-of-relapse-to-opioid-dependence-2010-10-12?reflink=MW_news_stmp

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides a full array of health care services including adult and youth alcohol and drug treatment.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependence, drug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

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.

Vivitrol for Opiates Close to FDA Approval

by James Heller 17. September 2010 12:10

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles is pleased to report that the US Food and Drug Administration is one step closer to officially approving Vivitrol for use in opiate addiction treatment.  This Naltrexone injection was originally meant to reduce alcohol cravings, with full knowledge of its potential to reduce opiate cravings.  After opiate detox, individuals with heroin, prescription drug, or other opiate addiction can use Vivitrol to improve their chances at long-term recovery.

For more information on this exciting news, please click on the link below:
http://investor.alkermes.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=92211&p=RssLanding&cat=news&id=1472331

Tarzana Treatment Centers provides Vivitrol as part of our Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) programs for qualified patients.  Our MAT programs include Methadone Maintenance, Suboxone Maintenance, and 21 Day Outpatient Detox.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides a full array of health care services including adult and youth alcohol and drug treatment.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley.  Our services are also available via telemedicine for those who qualify.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependence, drug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

For more information on Vivitrol, contact us via 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.

Methadone Maintenance and Other MAT Options

by James Heller 9. September 2010 10:49
Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles offers several options for those seeking recovery from opiate dependenceMethadone Maintenance is a popular method that we offer for qualified individuals, as it has been successfully used for decades.  We also provide Buprenorphine Maintenance and a 21 Day Outpatient Detox for those seeking alternate methods of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT).

Methadone Maintenance has proven to be a safe method of harm reduction therapy for individuals suffering from opiate addictions that can’t seem to maintain abstinence.  It gives them the opportunity to re-enter society and the workforce, and stop abusing heroin and a variety of prescription drugs.  Our program does not simply medicate patients, though.  We also provide counseling services so our clients can address the core issues of their addictions.

The term Medication Assisted Treatment covers methods of recovery that seek harm reduction or abstinence.  Tarzana Treatment Centers recognizes that while opiate addicts suffer the same disease, they don’t all find recovery in the same manner.  So we provide Buprenorphine Maintenance for those who don’t feel comfortable with Methadone as the medication to ease their opiate cravings.  

For those seeking abstinence, we provide a 21 Day Outpatient Detox that includes Outpatient Addiction Counseling Treatment.  This is a fine program for individuals who suffer from co-occurring mental health disorders that don’t feel comfortable in a residential environment.  It is also suitable for those who are still employed and have family obligations.  After successful detoxification, we can provide Naltrexone to qualified patients to reduce opiate cravings that may cause relapse.

If you would like more information about Methadone Maintenance or any of our MAT programs, please contact us by phone or email using the information below:

Phone:        (818) 654-3939

Email:        maintenance@tarzanatc.org

Methadone Maintenance Hours:     6:00am to 7:00pm

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides a full array of health care services including adult and youth alcohol and drug treatment.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependence, drug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

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.

Methadone Maintenance Information

by James Heller 8. September 2010 13:02
Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles offers several options for those seeking recovery from opiate dependenceMethadone Maintenance is a popular method that we offer for qualified individuals, as it has been successfully used for decades.  We also provide Buprenorphine Maintenance and a 21 Day Outpatient Detox for those seeking alternate methods of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT).

Methadone Maintenance has proven to be a safe method of harm reduction therapy for individuals suffering from opiate addictions that can’t seem to maintain abstinence.  It gives them the opportunity to re-enter society and the workforce, and stop abusing heroin and a variety of prescription drugs.  Our program does not simply medicate patients, though.  We also provide counseling services so our clients can address the core issues of their addictions.

If you would like more information about Methadone Maintenance, please contact us by phone or email using the information below:

Phone:        (818) 654-3939

Email:        maintenance@tarzanatc.org

Hours:          6:00am - 7:00pm

To learn about our other Medication Assisted Treatment options, please continue reading below or go to the MAT category page.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides a full array of health care services including adult and youth alcohol and drug treatment.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependence, drug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

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.

Medication Assisted Treatment Options

by James Heller 12. April 2010 14:07

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is a safe and effective method for alcohol and narcotic withdrawal and maintenance.  There is ample evidence suggesting that harm reduction strategies should be more widely available to those suffering from alcohol dependence and drug addictionTarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles has taken note of these facts, and offers several medication assisted treatment options.

Traditional alcohol and drug treatment services help many individuals to begin a life in recovery and improve their lives.  MAT is utilized in medical detoxification at the start of treatment to minimize withdrawal symptoms from alcohol and other drugs.  This process is important since patients must be medically stable before beginning the process of recovery.

For some, though, relapse commonly follows traditional treatment.  This is generally due to alcohol cravings and opiate cravings that vary greatly from patient to patient.  Medications like Suboxone, Vivitrol, and Methadone help to minimize cravings so these individuals may begin the process of recovery, medically stable and in a receptive state of mind.

For more information, click the link below:


Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles offers many medication assisted treatment options.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependence, drug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

For more information on Vivitrol, contact us via 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.

Vivitrol for Heroin Addiction

by James Heller 31. December 2009 15:45

Heroin addiction treatment can include Vivitrol as a form of medication assisted treatment.  It is a safe, non-narcotic solution to heroin cravings.  And it works for individuals whether they have used heroin for a short time or for many years.

Heroin detox is necessary for nearly every new patient entering heroin treatment.  Medical detoxification minimizes heroin withdrawal symptoms.  But even though the body has been safely cleansed of the opiate, cravings remain.  Whether a patient continues with residential or outpatient treatment these cravings can be a distraction and possibly lead them to relapse.

For decades the only solution to heroin cravings was to place patients on Methadone maintenance or just have them “tough it out”.  While Methadone maintenance is a good harm reduction strategy, the option is not always acceptable to the patient since they consider themselves to still be addicted.  And while it is suggested that toughing it out builds character, the risk of relapse is much too high to be acceptable.

Vivitrol is an opiate blocker that works with chemicals in the brain to reduce heroin cravings.  Patients must complete heroin detox before the first injection can be administered.  Additionally, each patient must be assessed and fully counseled on the medication and possible side effects.  If a patient uses heroin after receiving a Vivitrol injection, there will be no adverse effects but there will be no euphoria either.

Some individuals turn to heroin after they become addicted to prescription drugs, and can no longer afford them.  Others feel hopeless after many years of attempting heroin addiction treatment, only to return to the drug after short periods of abstinence.  Vivitrol can work for any of these individuals because it blocks the brain’s need for opiates, in simplified terms.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles is actively evaluating patients with opiate addiction, cases by case, and prescribing Vivitrol where appropriate.  We have already seen positive results with opiate craving reduction with patients who present with alcohol dependence and also use opiates.  As testing has shown to date, we can expect the same result with heroin dependence.

Tarzana Treatment Centers provides alcohol and drug detox as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare in alcohol and drug treatment.  If you or a loved one has a problem with alcohol dependence or drug addiction, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

For more information on Vivitrol, contact us via 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.

Heroin Cravings

by James Heller 29. December 2009 15:42

Those who suffer from opiate addiction may want to learn a few things about Vivitrol, or injectable Naltrexone, which reduces alcohol cravings for those with alcohol dependence.  This may be of interest because phase 3 trials have been successfully completed on Naltrexone for opiate dependence, and it is going through the process for FDA approval.

So far it appears that Alkermes has produced a drug that passes all trial phases to the point that it should be approved.  But we will not pre-determine the outcome at this time.  While remaining prudent until final FDA approval comes, the potential for this type of medication assisted treatment provides us an opportunity to discuss different scenarios where it will be of use.

Heroin cravings are a major reason that individuals remain trapped in an opiate addiction.  They can take control of the brain as early as the first use, and last for a lifetime.  But, to date, there is not a non-narcotic solution to this problem.

The opiate potency in heroin is so strong that the brain sends signals that the body needs more upon first use.  These cravings lead individuals to be more open minded to using it a second time, and are reinforced with each use.  Once heroin addiction takes hold there is seemingly no defense against them.

If treatment is sought, heroin detox is typically where it begins.  Even the best motivated patients can decide to leave treatment due to the manifestation of cravings.  Reminders of heroin use, during a conversation as an example, can take mere minutes to change the motivation from recovery to obtaining and using heroin.

Many who have made multiple treatment attempts resort to Methadone maintenance as a defense against heroin cravings.  Methadone for harm reduction works, but it is still a narcotic.  While individuals can re-enter society and stop using heroin, they are still addicted to an opiate.

In drug treatment the goal is to help patients remove drugs from their lives completely when they want it.  A non-narcotic answer to heroin cravings would be welcome as an option to meet this goal.  Not only would it be effective in relapse prevention, but also a healthy alternative to using narcotics for harm reduction.

The excerpt of an article below is from the National Institute on Drug Abuse website.  The full article describes current treatments for heroin abuse and addiction.

-- Begin external content --

A variety of effective treatments are available for heroin addiction. Treatment tends to be more effective when heroin abuse is identified early. The treatments that follow vary depending on the individual, but methadone, a synthetic opiate that blocks the effects of heroin and eliminates withdrawal symptoms, has a proven record of success for people addicted to heroin. Other pharmaceutical approaches, such as buprenorphine, and many behavioral therapies also are used for treating heroin addiction. Buprenorphine is a recent addition to the array of medications now available for treating addiction to heroin and other opiates. This medication is different from methadone in that it offers less risk of addiction and can be prescribed in the privacy of a doctor's office. Buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) is a combination drug product formulated to minimize abuse.

-- Source: http://www.drugabuse.gov/ResearchReports/heroin/heroin5.html --

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides medical detoxification and medication assisted treatment as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare in alcohol and drug treatment.  If you or a loved one has a problem with drug addiction or alcohol dependence, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

For more information on Vivitrol, contact us via 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.

Prescription Pain Killers and Cravings

by James Heller 24. December 2009 10:47

Those who suffer from opiate addiction may want to learn a few things about Vivitrol, or injectable Naltrexone, which reduces alcohol cravings for those with alcohol dependence.  This may be of interest because phase 3 trials have been successfully completed on Naltrexone for opiate dependence, and it is going through the process for FDA approval.

So far it appears that Alkermes has produced a drug that passes all trial phases to the point that it should be approved.  But we will not pre-determine the outcome at this time.  While remaining prudent until final FDA approval comes, the potential for this type of medication assisted treatment provides us an opportunity to discuss different scenarios where it will be of use.

Prescription drug addiction, specifically opiate based pain killers, has many origins these days.  Teen prescription drug abuse is a growing concern and many individuals start using medications for pain relief and become addicted, to name two.  In any case, opiate dependence is largely driven by opiate cravings.

Adolescents generally start using pain medication for 2 reasons.  When teens lack something to do, they become bored and seek an outlet for the angst that comes with this critical time of growth.  Many will be offered illegally obtained prescription drugs, and some will try them.  Others who suffer injuries in sports or other physical activities may be prescribed opiates by their doctors.

This group of teens falls into a greater part of the population who, through accident or illness, start using prescription opiates for the reason they are intended.    While these drugs perform a great service to those suffering from pain, they are also highly addictive and some will continue to use them past the time they are necessary for pain.

Opiate cravings usually begin with the first use of a drug.  The brain responds to the euphoria they produce in an allergic fashion, manifesting in signals that the body needs more.  To date, there are no FDA approved non-narcotic medications to reduce these cravings, so once they are triggered they exist for life.

The excerpt below is from an article posted on the National Institute on Drug Abuse website.  The full article discusses current treatments available for opiate dependence.  

-- Begin external content --

The two main categories of drug addiction treatment are behavioral and pharmacological. Behavioral treatments encourage patients to stop drug use and teach them how to function without drugs, handle cravings, avoid drugs and situations that could lead to drug use, and handle a relapse should it occur. When delivered effectively, behavioral treatments-such as individual counseling, group or family counseling, contingency management, and cognitiveÐ behavioral therapiesÑalso can help patients improve their personal relationships and their ability to function at work and in the community.

Some addictions, such as opioid addiction, can be treated with medications. These pharmacological treatments counter the effects of the drug on the brain and behavior, and can be used to relieve withdrawal symptoms, treat an overdose, or help overcome drug cravings. Although a behavioral or pharmacological approach alone may be effective for treating drug addiction, research shows that, at least in the case of opioid addiction, a combination of both is most effective.

-- Source: http://www.nida.nih.gov/researchreports/prescription/prescription7.html --

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides medication assisted treatment and youth drug treatment as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare in alcohol and drug treatment.  If you or a loved one has a problem with drug addiction or alcohol dependence, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

For more information on Vivitrol, contact us via 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.

Opiate Cravings

by James Heller 22. December 2009 15:43

Those who suffer from opiate addiction may want to learn a few things about Vivitrol, or injectable Naltrexone, which reduces alcohol cravings for those with alcohol dependence.  This may be of interest because phase 3 trials have been successfully completed on Naltrexone for opiate dependence, and it is going through the process for FDA approval.

So far it appears that Alkermes has produced a drug that passes all trial phases to the point that it should be approved.  But we will not pre-determine the outcome at this time.  While remaining prudent until final FDA approval comes, the potential for this type of medication assisted treatment provides us an opportunity to discuss different scenarios where it will be of use.

Cravings are at the foundation of any addiction.  They are very strong after just one use of alcohol or a drug, leaving individuals helpless against continuing to drink or use.  But what most people don’t realize is that these cravings continue with abstinence, and are a great distraction to those early in alcohol and drug treatment.

Opiate cravings can be considered the strongest among addicts.  Even long-term recovery doesn’t make them any easier to deal with. When an individual stops use of heroin or opiate based prescription drugs the brain continues to send signals to the body that something is missing.  So when something is seen, heard, smelled, heard, felt or remembered about these drugs, along with it comes a feeling of great need or craving.

Since most discussions in drug treatment naturally revolve around drugs, cravings can distract patients from the work they are doing to recover.  Sadly, this usually concludes with one or more patients leaving treatment early, or relapsing within hours after discharging.  This is one area where opiate craving reduction would be of significance for those who suffer.

More information about cravings is in the excerpt from an article posted on the Drug Addiction Rehab website.  The full article contains a wealth of information about opiate cravings.

-- Begin external content --

 The first challenge for any addict wishing to kick his addiction is overcoming the mental and physical cravings for drugs or alcohol. Cravings are strong, uncontrollable urges to use drugs or alcohol that drive the addict to once again use addictive substances.

To get an idea of what drug cravings are like, think of a time when you went for a long time without eating a meal and you were really hungry. Hunger is a mental and physical sensation that is triggered when the body needs food for nutrients and energy. Growling stomach and shakiness due to not having eaten will become so great, making the person so uncomfortable, that they will drop whatever it is they are doing and arrange to get food and eat it. As soon as the food is consumed, the hunger pangs stop and the person feels good about satisfying their hunger. Withdrawal symptoms and cravings are caused by poor nutrition and the vitamin depletion that follows substance abuse. When a body lacks certain nutrients, it cannot make some substances it needs for health and energy, causing a person to feel tired and moody.

-- Source: http://www.drug-addiction-rehab.net/rehab-tag/opiate-metabolite/ --

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides opiate detox as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare in alcohol and drug treatment.  If you or a loved one needs help with drug addiction or alcohol dependence, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

For more information on Vivitrol, contact us via 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.