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Alcohol & Opiate Rehab Outpatient Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Frequently Asked Questions

Naltrexone

 

The Medication

 

Is Naltrexone FDA approved?

The Naltrexone medication has been FDA approved for nearly 20 years and has proven effective in blocking the effects of alcohol and opioids.

 

How does it work?

The Naltrexone medication binds itself to the alcohol and opioid receptors of the brain to block the effects of, and the cravings for these substances. As a result, you do not feel “high” and your desire is reduced.

 

How do I take Naltrexone?

Naltrexone is available in three different modalities.

 

  • Oral – Taken daily

  • Injectable,- Vivitrol – Lasts approximately 28 days

  • Implantable Pellet – Lasts approximately 6-10 months depending on weight and metabolism.

The daily pill or monthly injection requires a person to stick to a routing for taking medication while the pellet automatically releases the medication over many months. Because of the shorter term of effectiveness, the pill and injection forms have to provide medication at higher doses and tend to have side effects that most patients on the pellet do not experience. The implantable pellet form of naltrexone releases the medication at a slow therapeutic level. The long lasting pellets take out the compliance issue of a daily or monthly dose and helps to prevent the risk of relapse.

 

Will the medicine block any other feelings or emotions? Does it impact my libido or sexual activity?

No, the medication does not affect any emotions or physical activity. Your sexual activity, desire and drive are not impaired. The medication is only targeted at preventing the compulsion to use or drink.

 

Detox

 

Do I need to detox before taking Naltrexone?

Yes, you need to detox from both alcohol and opioids prior to being administered Naltrexone. It is recommended that patients are 3 days free of alcohol and 7-10 days free of opioids. If you have tried quitting before but have side effects from abstinence you most likely need to attend a detox program. Call us at 855-393- 4673 to coordinate detox treatment.

 

I am afraid that I will be frustrated or depressed from not being able to drink or use?

Discuss this with our physician. Our physician may prescribe some short- term, mild anti-depression medication to assist with this or refer you to another specialist. Otherwise your counselor and designated support partner will be there to support you in transitioning into your new life after treatment begins.

 

Too Good to Be True

 

If this works so well why haven’t I heard about it?

The pill form has been available for over 20 years, but due to non- compliance in taking the medication on a daily basis, the effects of this modality can be ineffective. Vivitrol is longer acting but many report that there is discomfort associated with the injections and many choose not to continue therapy after a few months. The pellet is normally the preferred modality due to the longevity of the medication. Also, while the medication does assist with cravings, there is also a psycho/social aspect to addiction which is why our programs are coupled with counseling. The combination of medication and counseling catapults one in their recovery and helps to prevent relapse.

 

*Patient experience may vary.