Naltrexone Pellet Treatment
One of the most promising tools used today in addiction treatment is the drug, naltrexone (brand names Vivitrol, ReVia, and Depade). Naltrexone is used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT), a pharmacotherapy for treating individuals addicted to alcohol or opioids, used in conjunction with psychotherapy and active participation in a recovery support community. Naltrexone acts to greatly reduce drug or alcohol cravings during the early months of recovery when relapse is a common occurrence.
About Naltrexone and MAT
Naltrexone was FDA approved in 1994 to help treat alcohol dependency, and in 2010 it was approved for treating opioid dependency. As an opioid antagonist, naltrexone can block the pleasurable effects of opioids or alcohol in the reward center of the brain. As a result, the desire or temptation to use the substance is greatly diminished, reducing the risk of relapse. Naltrexone is available in a daily pill form, as a monthly time-release injection, and as a pellet implant that can last for months.
MAT is a short-term intervention, designed to help the individual during the early stages of recovery avoid relapse, with scheduled tapering off of the naltrexone about three to six months into recovery. Over this period the MAT helps manage cravings until there is no real motivation for the individual to use the drug. There are cases when naltrexone is prescribed long-term. Generally, naltrexone is well tolerated with no potential for addiction.
Effectiveness of Naltrexone
Two important clinical studies in the nineties provided the statistical data that would lead to the approval of the drug as an adjunct therapy for treating alcoholism. Because naltrexone binds and blocks opioid receptors, the sensations of euphoria and sedative effects of the opioid or alcohol are reduced. Over time this effect leads to reduced drug-seeking behavior. Adherence to the medication regimen is critical in achieving a positive outcome.
The use of naltrexone for treating alcohol or opioid addiction is one part of a comprehensive treatment plan. MAT is integrated into a plan that includes ongoing individual psychotherapy, group therapy, and social support groups. The addition of MAT to the treatment regimen has enabled those in early recovery to remain committed to sobriety, maintaining steady employment and living fulfilling lives.
Limitations of Naltrexone MAT
Naltrexone is not without some side effects and risks. These may include:
- Poor appetite
- Muscle or joint pain
- Difficulty sleeping
Individuals with an opioid use disorder taking naltrexone have an inherent risk if they relapse. This is because the drug causes a reduced tolerance to opioids; if the person relapses using the dosage they were once accustomed to it could have life-threatening consequences.
Receive Naltrexone Pellet Treatment at Capo by The Sea
Capo By the Sea embraces MAT and naltrexone pellet treatment for enhancing our comprehensive treatment protocol for treating alcohol and opioid use disorders. To learn more about Capo By the Sea’s naltrexone drug therapy, contact us today at (888) 529-2114
27130 Paseo Espada, Suite 521
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675-2719
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