At the Coleman Institute, we know overcoming Alcohol Use Disorder is never an easy task. But breakthroughs in addiction medicine now offer new options for safe, effective recovery strategies for those patients who struggle with excessive drinking. Among these advancements is Naltrexone therapy using a long-term implant, which has emerged as a groundbreaking tool in the arsenal against alcohol dependency and addiction and is the cornerstone of the Coleman Method.

Understanding Naltrexone Therapy and the Coleman Method

For many grappling with Alcohol Use Disorder, the path to recovery is marked by a relentless battle against cravings and the constant risk of relapse. Traditional methods of treatment, while effective for some, often leave gaps that can lead individuals back to their old drinking habits. This is where Naltrexone, a non-addictive and non-narcotic medication, steps in to change the game.

Naltrexone therapy is a crucial component in treating Alcohol Use Disorder. It significantly reduces alcohol cravings by attaching to the brain's opiate receptors, which are responsible for creating the pleasurable effects of consuming alcohol. By blocking these receptors, Naltrexone diminishes the pleasure derived from drinking, aiding individuals as they navigate early recovery.

The Coleman Method uses Naltrexone therapy consisting of a tiny, pill-sized implant following outpatient alcohol detox to curb cravings and ultimately help patients as they attempt to reclaim their lives from alcohol.

The Naltrexone Implant: A Steady Hand in Recovery

While Naltrexone is available in several different formulations, the implant version offered at the Coleman Institute has many significant advantages over traditional treatment methods. The Naltrexone implant is a small pellet inserted under the skin in the lower abdominal area that releases medication slowly over the course of eight weeks, providing a steady dose of opiate blockers when needed the most. Naltrexone therapy using the implant has several distinct benefits:

  • Consistent Medication Delivery: The implant ensures a constant release of Naltrexone, maintaining steady levels of the medication in the body. This consistency is crucial in reducing cravings and the likelihood of relapse.
  • Convenience and Compliance: Once implanted, the need for daily medication is eliminated, significantly improving treatment adherence. Patients don't have to worry about missing doses, which can be a common issue with oral medication.
  • Long-Term Focus on Recovery: The long-lasting effect of the implant provides patients with a sustained support system, allowing them to focus more on recovery activities like therapy and support groups without the daily reminder of their condition.

This consistent dosing is crucial, as it reduces cravings and supports patients in maintaining their treatment and recovery efforts. This steady supply not only maintains a consistent blood level but also removes the psychological burden of daily medication, reducing the likelihood of relapse.


Naltrexone Therapy Treatment Timeline

At the Coleman Institute, we recommend patients stay on Naltrexone therapy following alcohol detox for at least 6-12 months. This duration aligns with the time it takes for the brain to heal from addiction and for individuals to adapt to changes in their recovery process. Naltrexone therapy during this critical period helps curb cravings while allowing patients to develop and reinforce new, healthy habits that are essential for long-term success.

Six to 12 months of Naltrexone therapy post-detox provides a crucial buffer during this period of healing and adaptation. During this time, the brain is undergoing a process of neuroplasticity — reorganizing itself, forming new connections, and in some cases, repairing damage caused by prolonged alcohol use. Naltrexone assists in this process by reducing the urge to consume alcohol, which in turn helps to stabilize the brain's chemical environment. This stability is vital for the brain to heal and for the individual to learn and solidify new coping mechanisms.

Additionally, the first year of recovery is often the most challenging in terms of avoiding relapse. It's a period filled with navigating triggers, managing stress, and rebuilding one’s life without alcohol. Naltrexone therapy provides critical support during this vulnerable time, helping to mitigate cravings and reduce the risk of a setback. This support allows individuals to focus more on other aspects of their recovery, such as engaging in therapy, building a support network, and developing healthier lifestyle habits.

However, it’s important to recognize that recovery is a highly individualized journey, and the exact duration of Naltrexone therapy may vary from person to person. Some individuals may benefit from extending the therapy beyond 12 months, while others might achieve stability in a shorter time frame. The decision on the duration of Naltrexone therapy should be made collaboratively between the patient and their healthcare provider, taking into account personal circumstances, progress in recovery, and overall health and well-being.

Naltrexone and Medication-Assisted Treatment

Naltrexone therapy is a form of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), a comprehensive approach that integrates the use of medications with behavioral therapies to treat addiction. The inclusion of Naltrexone in MAT programs has been a pivotal development, offering new strategies for individuals suffering from alcohol dependence or addiction.

One of the key benefits of integrating Naltrexone into MAT is its ability to provide a holistic treatment plan. While Naltrexone works on the physiological aspect of addiction, behavioral therapies attend to the psychological and emotional facets. This dual approach ensures that both the physical dependency and the underlying emotional and behavioral issues are addressed, increasing the chances of a long-term recovery from Alcohol Use Disorder.

The use of Naltrexone in MAT has also been shown to improve treatment adherence. Knowing that the physiological craving for alcohol is being medically managed can encourage patients to engage more fully in the behavioral aspects of their treatment plan. It provides a sense of stability and reduces the fear of relapse, allowing patients to focus more on therapy and recovery activities.

Naltrexone therapy in MAT also plays a crucial role in improving the overall quality of life for individuals in recovery. By alleviating the constant battle against cravings, patients often experience improved mental health, better relationships, and a more positive outlook on life.

It is important to note that Naltrexone therapy as part of MAT is not a standalone cure for Alcohol Use Disorder. It is most effective when used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes support systems, lifestyle changes, and continuous monitoring and adjustment by healthcare professionals. The ultimate goal of MAT with Naltrexone is to support patients in maintaining long-term recovery and leading fulfilling, alcohol-free lives.

Side Effects of Naltrexone Therapy

Like any medical procedure, Naltrexone therapy has its risks and side effects. The implant requires local anesthesia and can cause minor issues at the implant site, including irritation, inflammation, or infection.

Moreover, starting Naltrexone therapy without complete detoxification can lead to withdrawal symptoms. Therefore it’s crucial to fully complete an alcohol detox program before starting Naltrexone therapy.

It is also important to inform healthcare providers about all medications, over-the-counter drugs, and supplements being taken, as Naltrexone can interact with other drugs, affecting its efficacy.

Naltrexone Therapy at the Coleman Institute

Naltrexone therapy using a long-term implant stands as a vital tool in the battle against Alcohol Use Disorder. This small implant, transcending its size, plays a significant role in stabilizing cravings and enhancing the success of long-term recovery. By integrating this therapy into a comprehensive treatment approach, the Coleman Method helps people transform their lives for the better, paving the way for sustained recovery.

Are you ready to learn more about outpatient alcohol detox and Naltrexone Therapy with the Coleman Institute? Contact the addiction specialists in our Richmond, VA, office or one of our nationwide clinics near you and take the first step toward a life free from alcohol.