Opiate Detox with Naltrexone Implants
Opiate Detox with Naltrexone Implants Opiate dependence is a medical condition that has a limited success rate with current treatments. Even Ultra-rapid Detox (URD) relapse rates are high. Naltrexone is an opiate blocking drug that blocks the effect of all opiates and helps to improve success rates. However, when it is taken orally it is often ineffective because patients either forget or refuse to take their medicine. In order to improve these results, we are using a specially compounded formulation of Naltrexone that is placed under the skin and slowly released over a 6-12 week period. They are compounded for the Coleman Institute by licensed pharmacists here in the United States.
The Naltrexone implants have been used by over 3000 patients worldwide and no major problems encountered. In fact, an early study at our clinic using six week implants found that detoxification plus a naltrexone implant had 100% success at six weeks and over 80% success at three months. Now we use longer lasting implants so our success at three months is close to 100%.
The implantation of these pellets after detoxification is a very important part of the treatment for our patients. It guarantees success for the first 6-10 weeks and gives the patients an opportunity to start working their recovery program.
Alcohol Detox with Naltrexone Implants
What is Naltrexone therapy and why is it important for alcoholism?
The ultimate goal of recovery from alcoholism is abstinence and learning how to be happy. We believe that the cornerstones of a recovery program include 12-step support groups and professional counseling. There are also a number of medicines that can assist in achieving and maintaining abstinence. Naltrexone is probably the most powerful of these medicines. Naltrexone is a drug that attaches to the opiate receptors in the brain and blocks them. Part of the pleasurable effect from alcohol happens through these opiate receptors. When these receptors are blocked, people get fewer cravings for alcohol and less pleasure if they do drink any alcohol. It becomes much easier for them to stay abstinent and continue with their recovery program.
What is the Naltrexone implant?
This is a special formulation of Naltrexone, which is designed to release slowly over a 6-12 week period. It is placed under the patient's skin and so it is effective and does not allow the patient to forget or skip their medicine. We highly recommend it because it is so effective. A licensed pharmacist compounds the implants for us. While the Naltrexone implant has not yet been submitted to the FDA for approval, the medications it contains are fully approved by the FDA and the compounding process is fully approved by the FDA.
Why use the Naltrexone implant instead of the oral tablets?
The simple answer is that the implants just work better. When patients get a steady dose of the Naltrexone every day for a prolonged period of time they have a much better outcome. They have fewer cravings. They are more likely to be abstinent. They are more likely to stay with their treatment and support groups. It may be physical, because patients have a more steady blood level and they don't forget their medicine. It may be partly psychological, because once they receive the implant they just feel more relaxed and more committed to staying with their recovery program.
Are there any risks and side effects?
As with any medicines, there are some risks and potential problems. If Naltrexone therapy is begun when the patient is dependent on narcotics, including narcotic pain medicines, then there could be a painful withdrawal period, so your doctor will ask you about that. If you are involved in a situation, such as a car accident, where narcotic medicines are normally used then the narcotics would have no effect. In this situation doctors can remove the implant or provide non-narcotic pain medicines and sedatives. There are some risks associated with the Naltrexone pellet such as the small risk of infection or inflammation. If patients abuse narcotics they can have an overdose, especially after any period of abstinence. Patients need to be careful after being on Naltrexone because the Naltrexone forces their brain to be abstinent. After the implant wears off the risk of overdose can be high if patients abuse narcotics.
Read more about the Naltrexone Implant for Alcohol FAQs here.
- Learn more about Naltrexone implants for alcoholism and other conditions with our general Naltrexone FAQs.
- Call us to talk with someone 877-77-DETOX. We're available to talk with you 24/7.