Is Naltrexone a Narcotic?
Naltrexone is a prescription medication, recommended to help treat opioid and alcohol addiction. Due to its role in the opioid epidemic, people wonder, is naltrexone a narcotic. It’s medication that’s used as part of a medication-assisted treatment program (MAT) for opioid and alcohol use disorders, but does it have the same effects of opioids? Can it lead to drug misuse issues, or cause a high?
It’s not just the risk of overdose deaths that make opioids so problematic. They’re also highly addictive even when only using them a few times, and this can cause lifestyle and social issues related to addiction. For example, people who are addicted to opioids may engage in risky behaviors, or have difficulty caring for their children. Relationships are destroyed because of addiction. It can be impossible for people addicted to opioids to maintain steady employment or have a productive life. Lawmakers, health professionals, and society, in general, are constantly looking for ways to curb opioid addiction and its effects in the U.S. Naltrexone is one part of that objective.
People frequently wonder if you can feel high from taking naltrexone, and the answer is no. There are no euphoric effects of naltrexone. Naltrexone is intended as a way to reduce cravings for opioids and prevent relapse when someone is in detox or drug treatment. Along with blocking the effects of opioids, this medication also causes immediate withdrawal if opioids are taken while on it. Before someone can take naltrexone, they shouldn’t have used opioids for at least seven days. For certain opioids, like methadone, it should be 10 to 14 days following the last dose.
Naltrexone is ideally part of a larger drug or alcohol treatment program. In the best-case scenario, a person would be prescribed naltrexone and then would go on to complete a full treatment program that includes a medically-supervised detox, inpatient or outpatient treatment, and aftercare planning. It’s essential to understand that naltrexone isn’t a replacement for substance use disorder treatment and is actually just one part of the puzzle. Naltrexone may help people physically avoid taking drugs or alcohol, but it doesn’t treat the root causes of their substance abuse. Using naltrexone also doesn’t teach the coping and life management skills needed to be successful in long-term recovery.
If you or a loved on is struggling with opioid addiction or a substance use disorder, contact The Recovery Village. There are options available for successful treatment. We offer nationwide programs that are individualized and tailored to the specific needs of each patient.
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