Naltexone Pellet Therapy
What is Naltrexone?
Naltrexone is a prescription medication belonging to a class of drugs called opioid antagonists. The medication functions by blocking some of the effects of opioids and alcohol in the brain at the cell receptor level, helping to suppress cravings. This means if you take opioid medications (hydrocodone, oxycodone, fentanyl, etc.), use street drugs (e.g., heroin), or drink alcohol while using naltrexone, the medication blocks the reinforcing effects of endorphins, minimizing or eliminating the expected euphoria.
3 Steps for Naltrexone Therapy
Wash Out Period
This period is also called detoxification (detox) and is a necessary step before naltrexone may be used in those diagnosed with opioid use disorders. Individuals may be supported through withdrawal symptoms with adjunctive medications, and may require physician supervised programs.
A small medication implant is inserted under the skin to deliver naltrexone over a 10-12-week period. Injectable extended-release naltrexone is also available and effective for 21-28 days per injection.
Successful recovery happens with a combination of detoxification and personal psychological therapy and rehabilitation. Naltrexone, in combination with a tailored counseling program, supports the individual by reducing cravings, allowing time for emotional healing and increasing the likelihood of success.
Why Choose Naltrexone?
Prevents Physical Rewards
As an opioid antagonist, naltrexone displaces opioid drugs and alcohol from their binding sites. Therefore, it prevents the physical euphoric reward that enhances addiction of opioid and alcohol use, allowing patients to experience sustainable emotional health.
Cravings are heavily decreased when using naltrexone in the treatment of opioid drug and alcohol abuse. This craving reduction occurs very quickly, often in the first 2-3 weeks, and doesn't appear to return with appropriate treatment. The combination of naltrexone treatment and personal recovery work, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) or a 12-step recovery program may be especially effective in increasing the potential for long-term sobriety.
Increase Success with Longer Acting Naltrexone!
Naltrexone is a gold standard for the treatment of opioid and alcohol use disorders, but effectiveness is limited by inconsistent use and subsequent relapse. Studies have demonstrated daily monitoring and assessment using phone and text message reminders do not improve oral compliance. Unfortunately, individuals who fail to comply with the treatment program early experience worse outcomes than those who continue to use the medication consistently.
Since compliance is difficult when facing cravings from addiction, using longer acting forms of naltrexone such as injections or implants may be the best possible answer to achieve successful sobriety.
The Future of Addiction Treatment
Current medication-assisted treatment (MAT) options for opioid addiction may include drugs that swap one addiction for another, including methadone, buprenorphine and drugs that contain buprenorphine, such as Suboxone. Oftentimes, individuals remain addicted to the very drug used to break their addiction to opioids. Naltrexone has no addictive properties, and since it’s long-acting and blocks the opioid receptors in the brain, individuals have the opportunity to fully engage in personal rehabilitation and improve their potential success to enjoy long-term recovery.