Naltrexone is a considerably strong treatment for opiate addiction, and it is very different from the other medications used to treat this problem. Naltrexone is a safe, tested, effective medication, but it isn’t right for everyone. So who can be treated with naltrexone?
Why is Naltrexone Treatment Not for Everyone?
As a treatment for opiate addiction, naltrexone, or its brand name ReVia, is a safe and effective medication, but there are important limitations to this drug. According to the National Library of Medicine, “Naltrexone should not be used to treat people who are still using street drugs or drinking large amounts of alcohol.” Because the drug is an opioid antagonist, it can cause severe issues in a person who is currently still abusing opioids or alcohol. In addition, it triggers a withdrawal reaction whenever a person is dependent on opioids, so a treatment regimen must not begin with this medication until the individual is completely finished with withdrawal.
Some people are not able to tolerate naltrexone and often go off the medication. This is because so many restrictions are put on those who take it and because the consequences can be severe––and painful––if the individual relapses. Some addicts refuse to take the drug in the first place because there are so many rules associated with its use.
Who is Right for Naltrexone Treatment?
Although it can be too hard for some individuals to take the drug, it can be very beneficial for others. According to Harvard Medical School, “An addict who takes naltrexone faithfully will never relapse.” This is because many addicts who take it faithfully understand the consequences of further drug abuse, making it a strong deterrent against relapse, and because it protects the individual from feeling any euphoric effects if they do happen to abuse opioids again, as it “neutralizes or reverses the effects” of these drugs.
Harvard Medical School states that “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 some of the most ideal candidates for naltrexone treatment.
Is Naltrexone Right for Me?
This medication may be a beneficial treatment for your needs, but this strongly depends on
- Where you are in your treatment and recovery
- How long you plan to be on medication
- How serious you are about quitting your opioid drug abuse
- Whether or not you can handle the intense effects of naltrexone
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “You can stop taking naltrexone at any time with no withdrawal or craving,” as it is not addictive. This is a desirable factor for many individuals, but it is important to remember that persistence and motivation are two very important qualities that you should have if you are considering naltrexone treatment for your addiction. If you still think this treatment is right for you, it could be helpful to talk to your doctor about the benefits and drawbacks of the medication.
Do You Want to Learn More About Naltrexone Treatment?
Call 800-584-3274. We can discuss this option with you and answer any questions you may have as well as refer you to rehab centers where naltrexone is a possible treatment option for patients.