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Using Naltrexone to Treat Opiate and Alcohol Addiction

Naltrexone (Revia or Vivitrol) is an opioid blocker that works to prevent opioids from acting on the body (reversing their effects) and is also used to treat alcoholic cravings.

Naltrexone should be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that also includes behavioral therapies, counseling, lifestyle adjustments, and follow-up. People who are using an opiate or methadone should not use naltrexone, according to WebMD, because they may develop abrupt withdrawal symptoms.

Schedule an appointment for a thorough alcohol and drug evaluation with our patient service assistant at 855-479-2204.

What Is Naltrexone?

Naltrexone is a drug that is often used to treat opioid addiction. The medication lowers the cravings that are commonly generated by opioids by preventing their negative effects. It should be taken as part of a comprehensive recovery program that includes counseling, support groups, and other treatment techniques that your doctor or qualified therapist has advised.

If you are currently physically dependent on opioids, Naltrexone will cause withdrawal symptoms. To lessen the likelihood of a withdrawal, it's advisable to stop taking opioids for at least 7-10 days before starting Naltrexone. However, depending on the type of opioid addiction, the dose, and how long the addiction lasted, the length of time will vary from one person to the next.

It takes time and patience to recover from an opioid addiction because it is not a quick procedure. However, you will have assistance every step of the way thanks to drugs like Naltrexone and a variety of therapy choices.

How Does Naltrexone Help Opioid Addiction Treatment?

Opioids often provide a "high" or "rush" sensation, which is characterized by feelings of contentment and pain alleviation. These sensations will be suppressed if you take Naltrexone. You will restore a drug-free state of mind over time, allowing you to concentrate on living a healthier lifestyle.

Although Naltrexone is frequently used to treat opioid addiction, it may not be effective in eliminating drug cravings. As a result, Naltrexone is usually best suited for those who have passed the withdrawal stage and are ready to go forward in their recovery. If you have any Opioid cravings, contact your doctor right away.

After taking Naltrexone, you may be more susceptible to smaller dosages of Opioids, thus you should avoid taking any drugs until your medication-assisted treatment is over. Relying on Heroin or other Opioids could lead to dire consequences, such as an overdose.

Please call us at 855-479-2204 to help fight opiate addiction.

Naltrexone For Alcoholism Treatment

Naltrexone was first used to treat Opioid addiction, which included Heroin therapy. Naltrexone-treated recovering addicts no longer felt the euphoric sensations associated with opioid usage, and were thus less motivated to continue abusing the substance. The same was proven to be true for alcoholics. Although the specific mechanism is unknown, the brain reacts to alcohol in a similar way to how it reacts to opioids, and Naltrexone reduces the euphoria and pleasure sensations associated with alcohol. Once on Naltrexone, alcoholics no longer receive a "reward" for drinking and are hence less likely to continue doing so.

Although Naltrexone has a long track record of efficacy in the treatment of alcoholism, it is ineffective when used alone. Naltrexone has been shown to have no effect on alcohol cravings or withdrawal symptoms. When used in conjunction with other forms of treatment, such as other drugs, therapy, counseling, and 12-step programs, naltrexone is most effective. Naltrexone has shown to be particularly effective in the treatment of alcoholics who have relapsed.

Naltrexone is absorbed by the body through the liver and, at large doses, can cause liver damage. This may reduce its effectiveness while also making it risky to consume for patients with alcohol-related liver impairment.

For help with alcohol abuse please call us at 855-479-2204.

How is Naltrexone Administered?

Naltrexone comes in three different forms: tablet, injectable, and implantable. ReVia and Depade are two common brand names for the pill. Vivitrol is the brand name for the injectable extended-release variant of the medication.

Naltrexone tablet doses vary depending on the person, the strength of the medicine, and the amount of medicine needed each day. For more information on how to consume your medication, consult your doctor. It is available for use at home or in a treatment center. If you're taking the tablet form at home, having a family member or caretaker provide the doses on time can be useful. If your doctor instructs you to, don't change the amount of medication you're taking.

Naltrexone is also available in the form of a therapeutic implant. Implants are little pellet-shaped devices that are implanted into the lower abdomen wall. A local anesthetic is used to complete the insertion. The device releases a steady amount of Naltrexone in the body for about 3-6 months after it is implanted. In order to monitor any side effects, implants are now only offered in an inpatient therapy setting.

An extended-release injection can also be used to give the drug. The medicine is injected into a muscle once a month. It can only be given by a doctor or nurse in a clinic setting, therefore it's critical to get dosages on a frequent basis to get the most effect. You may have pain, redness, bruising, or swelling near the injection site shortly after getting the drug. While this is usual, if it does not go away or worsens within two weeks, contact your doctor.

Side Effects of Naltrexone

Naltrexone has been used for a long time, and its adverse effects have been thoroughly researched and documented. One of the reasons it has remained a popular treatment option for so long is because it is regarded as a fairly safe drug with few and moderate adverse effects. However, some of Naltrexone's adverse effects might be dangerous, so it's important to keep an eye on them.

The following are some of the most prevalent Naltrexone adverse effects:

  • Insomnia
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Nervousness and anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Aches\Rash\Dizziness
  • Tiredness
  • Constipation
  • Chills
  • Energy levels have increased or reduced.
  • The ears are ringing.

Benefits of Naltrexone

  • Compared to alternative therapies, there are fewer and less severe side effects.
  • Reduces the desire to drink, particularly among alcoholics in recovery who relapse, by removing the pleasant aspects of drinking while leaving the impairing consequences alone.
  • Aids in the improvement of other therapeutic modalities such as therapy and counseling.
  • The therapeutic advantages are universally acknowledged to outweigh the risk of adverse consequences.

Find Treatment

Many alcoholism and opioid treatment methods include naltrexone, although it is only one component. It can also only be prescribed by a doctor who is licensed. There is assistance available if you or a loved one is considering utilizing Naltrexone to help overcome a substance addiction. To find a rehab that handles alcoholism or opiate abuse, please call us at (855) 479-2204