Naltrexone is a medication that works by treating the effects of opioid abuse to help individuals stay in recovery. Call now to learn more about naltrexone and to find rehab centers that can help you recover from opioid abuse. What is Naltrexone? Naltrexone is a tablet that is taken by mouth, usually daily, to treat …
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Naltrexone is a medication that works by treating the effects of opioid abuse to help individuals stay in recovery. Call (800) 407-7195(Who Answers?) now to learn more about naltrexone and to find rehab centers that can help you recover from opioid abuse.
What is Naltrexone?
Naltrexone is a tablet that is taken by mouth, usually daily, to treat opioid or alcohol addiction. There is also an injectable version (brand name Vivitrol), which can now treat opioid addiction in addition to alcoholism and is only administered once every few weeks.
According to the National Library of Medicine, it is “used along with counseling and social support to help people who have stopped drinking alcohol and using street drugs continue to avoid drinking or using drugs.” The medication can treat both alcoholism and opioid addiction. It is in a class of medications called opioid antagonists.
How Does Naltrexone Work?
Naltrexone works to treat opioid addiction on two levels.
- It decreases cravings for opioids, as well as for alcohol.
- It blocks the effects of any drugs used by the individual while they are on naltrexone.
- It precipitates withdrawal in anyone who is dependent on opioids.
As such, someone who begins using naltrexone must be completely finished with their withdrawal syndrome and no longer dependent on opioids or alcohol.
Who Can Use Naltrexone?
Naltrexone is a very effective medication for a specific group of individuals. For example, those who are still dependent on opioids cannot take the drug, and those who have struggled with treatment and recovery for a long time often will not benefit from it. These populations often stop taking the medication, citing that it is too difficult to tolerate.
Use of Naltrexone use has been limited, and not many people are prescribed it (National Institute on Drug Abuse).
However, there is a population that has found to be particularly suited to the medication. According to Harvard Medical School, “Physicians and other middle-class patients who are highly motivated to get free of the opiate because they have so much to lose from a persistent addiction” are good candidates for the drug who will often take it faithfully and as prescribed.
How Does Naltrexone Fit into a Full Treatment Program?
Naltrexone is often used to treat addiction as part of a full treatment program, including behavioral therapies, social support, medical care, and (possibly) other medications. Patients are given naltrexone to minimize cravings and block the effects of opioids, but this should not be their only line of defense when it comes to professional treatment.
Naltrexone treatment usually works best when it is part of a full treatment program and when the individual taking it is willing to abide by the schedule set for them. In some cases, it can be easier on certain individuals to receive the Vivitrol injections because this takes away some of the patient’s duty of faithfully taking the medication every day.
Seek Help for Opioid Addiction Today
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