Methadone works on parts of the brain and spinal cord to block the "high" caused by using opiates (such as heroin). It also helps reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms caused by opiate use. The action of methadone is similar to other synthetic (man-made) medicines in the morphine category (opioids). Substances that are derived directly from the opium plant (such as heroin, morphine, and codeine) are known as opiates.
Vivitrol (naltrexone) blocks the effects of opioid medication, including pain relief or feelings of well-being that can lead to opioid abuse. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic. Vivitrol is used as part of a treatment program for drug or alcohol dependence.
Vivitrol injection is used to prevent relapse in people who became dependent on opioid medicine and then stopped using it. Naltrexone can help keep you from feeling a "need" to use the opioid.
Vivitrol injection is also used to treat alcoholism by reducing your urge to drink alcohol. This may help you drink less or stop drinking altogether. Naltrexone will not decrease the effects of alcohol you recently consumed. You should not be drinking at the time you receive your first Vivitrol injection.
Suboxone contains a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is an opioid medication. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic. Naloxone blocks the effects of opioid medication, including pain relief or feelings of well-being that can lead to opioid abuse.
Suboxone is used to treat narcotic (opiate) addiction. It is not for use as a pain medication.