Naltrexone Treatment: A Comprehensive Guide To Addiction Treatment

Naltrexone treatment has emerged as a vital component in the comprehensive treatment of addiction. This drug provides individuals grappling with substance use disorders, particularly opioids and alcohol, with a lifeline toward recovery.

According to a recent study, naltrexone significantly reduced the risk of opioid relapse, making it an effective treatment for addiction. Naltrexone is underused despite evidence of its effectiveness. In the United States, only about 1% of people with OUD and AUD receive naltrexone treatment.

Let’s explore more about Naltrexone and its application in opioid and alcohol addiction.

Find healing and wellness here at HART.

What is Naltrexone Used For?

Naltrexone is a medication primarily used in the treatment of substance use disorders, including alcohol and opioid dependence. It falls under the category of opioid receptor antagonists, and its role in addiction management is significant.

Types of Naltrexone Medication

Naltrexone is available in various forms, including oral tablets and extended-release injectable formulations. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved both forms for use in the treatment of opioid and alcohol dependence.

Oral Naltrexone

Oral Naltrexone comes in tablet form and patients usually take it once a day. It acts by blocking the effects of opioids, thereby reducing cravings and the pleasurable sensations associated with substance abuse.

Extended-Release Naltrexone

Extended-release Naltrexone, often administered as a monthly injection, provides long-lasting protection against opioid cravings. It is a convenient option for those who may struggle with daily medication adherence.

Is Naltrexone A Controlled Substance?

No, naltrexone is not a controlled substance in the United States. It is not regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and does not have a Schedule number.

Naltrexone is a prescription medication that has a low potential for abuse or addiction. It is a safe and effective medication for treating opioid use disorder (OUD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD).

Don’t let addiction define you. Seek treatment at HART.

How Does Naltrexone Work?

Naltrexone operates by blocking the effects of opioid substances in the brain. Its primary mechanism of action involves binding to opioid receptors, thus preventing opioids from attaching to these receptors. This action helps reduce cravings and the rewarding sensations associated with opioid use.

It also aids in reducing physical dependence on opioids, therefore decreasing the risk of opioid overdose and addiction.

Naltrexone’s duration of action varies depending on the form. Patients may need to take oral tablets daily, whereas the extended-release injectable can provide protection for a month or longer.

You deserve a second chance. Find treatment options at HART.

Naltrexone for Opioid Use Disorder

One of the primary applications of Naltrexone is in the management of opioid addiction. By acting as an opioid antagonist, it effectively blocks the effects of opioids. This can help individuals reduce cravings and avoid relapse. Several factors contribute to its success, including

Extended-release Naltrexone formulations provide long-lasting protection, reducing the need for daily medication.

Naltrexone acts as a safety net, preventing relapse even if a person tries to use opioids.

Compared to other medications, Naltrexone typically has minimal side effects, making it a preferred choice for many.

Naltrexone for Alcohol Use Disorder

Naltrexone is also effective in reducing alcohol cravings for individuals with alcohol use disorder. It does so by blocking the rewarding effects of alcohol, making it easier to abstain. Doctors often use Naltrexone as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, which may include counseling and support groups.

Naltrexone Dosage and Administration

The recommended dosage of Naltrexone can vary depending on specific circumstances. However, a common starting point for oral Naltrexone is 50 mg per day. Patients may take oral Naltrexone once a day, with or without food. Meanwhile, healthcare providers administer the injectable form once every four weeks.

It’s essential to work closely with a healthcare professional when using Naltrexone. Regular monitoring and adjustments to the treatment plan may be necessary to ensure its effectiveness.

Is Naltrexone addictive?

Naltrexone is not addictive. The drug does not produce any pleasurable effects and doesn’t cause physical dependence or withdrawal symptoms. This also reduces the risk of naltrexone overdose.

Achieve long-term sobriety by taking the first step with HART.

Understanding potential risks and side effects is essential for anyone considering Naltrexone as part of their treatment plan. Call your doctor or report side effects immediately.

Naltrexone Side Effects

Common Side Effects

Side effects may include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Painful joints
  • Flu symptoms
  • Insomnia
  • Decreased appetite
  • Toothache

Severe Side Effects

Serious or long-term side effects may include:

  • Pain or swelling at the injection site
  • Liver damage or hepatitis
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Pneumonia
  • Depressed mood

Precautions and Drug Interactions

People should be aware of potential interactions and precautions when taking Naltrexone. This is important especially if they are using other drugs, including doses of opioids.

Certain medications may interact with Naltrexone, affecting its effectiveness or causing adverse reactions. Do not drink alcohol as well when taking the drug. Always inform your healthcare provider of all medications you are taking.

Can you overdose on Naltrexone?

Yes, it is possible to overdose on naltrexone, but it is very rare. However, naltrexone overdose may occur if someone takes a large dose or if they take the drug with other substances.

Kick your addiction to the curb. Contact HART today.

People can compare Naltrexone with methadone and buprenorphine to make a smart choice for their addiction treatment. When choosing a treatment program, consider the following:

  • Type and severity of addiction
  • The person’s preference
  • Treatment goals

Naltrexone vs. Methadone and Buprenorphine

Naltrexone differs from methadone and buprenorphine , two other medications used in opioid addiction treatment. Unlike methadone and buprenorphine, which are themselves opioids, Naltrexone is non-addictive and does not lead to physical dependence.

Additionally, Naltrexone provides flexibility in treatment options. The extended-release injectable form ensures consistent dosage and reduces the risk of non-compliance, as well as clinic visits.

Combining Naltrexone with Therapy

Therapy plays a pivotal role in addressing the underlying psychological and emotional aspects of addiction. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), contingency management, and support groups can complement Naltrexone treatment and enhance the chances of long-term recovery.

Various treatment programs, such as inpatient or outpatient rehab, can administer Naltrexone treatment. The choice between these options depends on individual needs and preferences. Consult with your healthcare provider to determine the most suitable program.

At HART, our experienced healthcare professionals supervise treatment to ensure safe and effective administration. We also offer a comprehensive addiction treatment to address the psychological and emotional aspects of addiction. We focus on long-term recovery plans to offer young adults a better chance at achieving and maintaining sobriety.

Don’t let addiction hold you back any longer. Take that courageous step towards a healthier, happier future by seeking help at HART. Your journey to recovery begins here.

Regain control of your life. HART is here to help.