Naltrexone is a generic drug which is also available under various brand names that include Vivitrol, Depade and Revia. Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist that is used to help people who are dependent upon opioids and alcohol, following a detox program. This means the drug reduces drug cravings, and if someone attempts to use opioids while on naltrexone, they will go into sudden opioid withdrawal. The patient won’t experience euphoria or a high from alcohol or opioids while they are taking naltrexone. There are oral versions of Naltrexone, such as Revia, and also injectable versions, such as Vivitrol, which are given by a medical professional once per month. Some common side effects of naltrexone treatment include anxiety, nausea, headaches and sleep disturbances.
Before someone can begin a naltrexone treatment and rehab program, they have to fully detox from opioids. This can usually take anywhere from 7 to 10 days. If someone tries to undergo naltrexone treatment and they haven’t detoxed from opioids, they will likely experience withdrawal symptoms. Medical professionals will typically test patients to make sure that their systems are clear of drugs before introducing any naltrexone treatment. Naltrexone isn’t a cure for addiction. Instead, it’s a tool that helps patients avoid cravings and relapse -which can prevent them from successfully completing addiction treatment.
Naltrexone is part of what is called a medication-assisted treatment program (MAT). The Food and Drug Administration has recently been working on developing a new guidance regarding medication-assisted treatment. Medication-assisted treatment combines behavioral therapy with treatments like naltrexone. Other drugs that may be used as part of medication-assisted treatment include methadone and buprenorphine. These drugs do have a potential for abuse, whereas naltrexone does not. For the most part, medication-assisted treatment is seen as the best way to treat addiction to opioids and other substances.
In an effort to encourage a greater implementation of MAT, the FDA is encouraging the development of longer-acting forms of current therapies. The key challenge, according to medical professionals and public policy makers, is that MAT requires consistent use of medications. That doesn’t always happen if someone is using them on an outpatient basis. However, if naltrexone is used as part of an inpatient treatment program, that helps patients avoid this pitfall. An inpatient MAT program would include a combination of not only the medication and medical supervision, but also a variety of therapies and relapse prevention strategies.
In many cases, someone can participate in a medication-assisted treatment program on an outpatient basis. There are benefits to this approach, such as being able to stay at home and continue working and living as normal. However, there are problems as well. In order for medications like naltrexone to be effective, they have to be taken consistently and as instructed. With naltrexone, if someone tries to take large amounts of opioids to overcome the blocking effects of the drug, they are also at risk of overdosing and potentially dying. This risk is another reason that inpatient addiction treatment tends to be optimal for administering a MAT program. Vivitrol, a monthly shot that can be given as part of an outpatient rehab program, continues lasting for a month and doesn’t require the individual remember to take medication every day. This drug does offer a promising way for patients to receive consistent medication.
There is a misconception about naltrexone -people often mistakenly believe that they can become dependent upon it or addicted to it. This is not the case. Naltrexone doesn’t cause euphoria or any effects like opioids. The only thing naltrexone does is block those feelings and reduce cravings. There is no potential for naltrexone addiction or dependence, unlike other medication-assisted treatments, such as methadone.
To learn more about medication-assisted treatment and the possibilities that are available regarding addiction treatment, contact The Recovery Village today.
Visit the following websites to learn about The Recovery Village’s network of drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities. Call today for admissions. Each center is ready to help people learn how to cope with their addiction and uncover the root causes for their substance use disorder.
- Orlando Recovery Center: A premier rehabilitation facility in Orlando, Florida that helps individuals recover from addiction and substance use disorders. The center also offers the opportunity to treat co-occurring disorders.
- The Recovery Village Columbus: Located in Ohio, this facility provides inpatient, outpatient and aftercare treatment for people looking to begin detox. The center provides individualized plans to help patients through recovery while addressing their unique co-occurring disorders or any setbacks that may happen during recovery.
- The Recovery Village Palmer Lake: In Colorado, this facility offers inpatient, outpatient and intensive outpatient treatment for individuals looking to kick-start their journey to recovery.
- The Recovery Village Ridgefield: Located right in southern Washington, this facility provides patients with outpatient and aftercare programs. Just 20 minutes outside of Portland, this facility assists individuals who are ready to begin treatment.
- The Recovery Village: In Umatilla, Florida, this is a rehabilitation facility that provides resources for individuals seeking drug and alcohol treatment. There are inpatient, outpatient, intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization treatment programs available for those suffering from Ambien addiction.
- IAFF Center of Excellence: Specializes in assisting firefighters who struggle with behavioral health problems and addiction. Members can enter the recovery process sooner so they can return back to work as quickly as possible. Inpatient, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs are all available at this facility, where patients can address their Ambien addiction in a safe, supportive environment.
- Denver Mental Health & Counseling: Denver Mental Health and Counseling by The Recovery Village is a physician-led outpatient center specializing in evidence-based addiction and mental health treatments, offering services such as TMS, IOP, and personalized care for both ongoing and new patients, dedicated to fostering long-term recovery and overall well-being.
- The Recovery Village Palm Beach at Baptist Health: The Recovery Village Palm Beach at Baptist Health is a premier physician-led treatment center in South Florida, offering a comprehensive spectrum of services from medical detox to outpatient programs for alcohol, drug, and co-occurring mental health conditions, with a commitment to rejuvenating lives, families, and communities, and facilitating same-day admissions.
- The Recovery Village Atlanta: Located in Roswell just outside downtown Atlanta, is a 62-bed physician-led treatment facility offering a comprehensive range of services, from medical detox to outpatient care, specializing in alcohol, drug, and co-occurring mental health conditions, dedicated to transforming lives, families, and communities throughout Georgia.
- The Recovery Village Kansas City: The Recovery Village Kansas City, an 80-bed facility in Raytown just 10 miles from downtown, offers a comprehensive range of evidence-based treatments for addiction and mental health conditions, overseen by physician leaders, and is dedicated to revitalizing lives, families, and communities throughout the Midwest.
- The Recovery Village Cherry Hill at Cooper Health: The Recovery Village Cherry Hill at Cooper, situated just 20 minutes from Philadelphia, is a leading rehab facility in South Jersey providing comprehensive, evidence-based addiction and mental health treatments, ranging from medical detox to teletherapy, with a dedicated team committed to guiding adults on their path to lifelong recovery.
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.