Why Some People are Saying Naltrexone Can Stop The Opioid Crisis

Last Updated: Sep 20th 2019

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky

Naltrexone is a medicine designed to assist people who are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction in their detox and rehab recovery. Specifically, this medicine is designed to be especially useful for those who are suffering from an addiction to an opioid or to alcohol. Indeed, alcohol and opioid addicts are substantially more likely to successfully enter active recovery and remain there for the long haul with the help of Naltrexone. One of the best things about this drug is that it is not an addictive medication. Some other replacement drugs that are used for addiction recovery are indeed addictive. Naltrexone though is a non-narcotic drug that attaches to the brain’s pain and reward receptors and completely blocks them.

This functionally means that when a person takes codeine, heroin, or any different type of opioid, or drinks too much alcohol that the pain, pleasure, and reward controlling receptors of the brain will already be occupied and therefore the person taking the drug will not feel the effects of the intoxicant. This is a priceless boon in the detoxification and rehabilitation steps of recovery. As a person gets sober from their substance of choice, say oxycodone, heroin, or booze, they will experience serious alcohol, heroin, or oxycodone withdrawal symptoms, and those symptoms can and do frequently lead people to relapse.

If the user is taking naltrexone during their withdrawal from oxycodone or other intoxicants, there will be little incentive to take a pill or pick up a beer when they will have no hope of feeling the effects of the substance. South Florida rehab clinics and detox facilities often offer naltrexone to their patients who suffer from addiction in hopes of helping them through the difficulties of detox and rehab and giving them a good foundation for future active recovery. Naltrexone helps not only biologically, but also psychologically. Since the drug helps with cravings and triggers having naltrexone to lean on allows the patient to focus on their mental health and the life skills they need to sharpen to be ready for the outside world.

Naltrexone is the generic version of the following brand names:

  • Vivitrol
  • Depade
  • Revia

 

Medication Assisted Oxycodone Treatment Program

Medication assisted addiction recovery programs are designed to function using medications like naltrexone, in conjunction with behavioral therapies to treat alcohol or drug addicted individuals. While medications like buprenorphine and methadone do indeed leave space for a person who has been dealing with an addiction to opioids to become dependent on them, Naltrexone is a drug that does not. Opioids are intense intoxicating substances and very quickly engender a high tolerance and intense cravings within the user.  Because of this, it is highly advisable for the patient dealing with opioid addiction to be treated by a medication assisted treatment program.

 

Treatment For Opioid Addiction in South Florida

There is help available for opioid addiction. Oxycodone and other opioid addictions are difficult struggles for anyone to deal with and they are not just something you can walk away from on your own. Everyone needs help. 1st Step Behavioral Health can offer support in the form of an excellent staff of qualified and licensed medical clinicians and therapists. Call today to learn more about our rehab programs.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky

Brittany PolanskyBrittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is a Primary Clinician at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.

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