The opioid crisis is one of the most severe public health challenges in recent history. Fueled by a dramatic increase in the misuse of both prescription and non-prescription opioids, it has led to a significant rise in opiate dependency, addiction, and overdose. The far-reaching consequences of this epidemic extend beyond the individuals directly affected, impacting families, communities, and healthcare systems around the globe.

Thankfully, treatment options like Naltrexone Therapy can aid in the detox and recovery process and play a crucial role in offering hope and support to those battling opioid dependency or addiction. In this blog, I will talk about why Naltrexone Therapy is essential for those struggling with opioid use to stay in recovery for the long-term and block their cravings.

Watch Dr. Coleman's recap on YouTube: "Why Is Naltrexone Therapy So Important for Opioid Addiction?"

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What is Naltrexone Therapy and How Does It Work?

Naltrexone Therapy serves as an integral component of the Coleman Method. Its primary function as an opioid antagonist is to block opioid receptors in the brain, which play a key role in the addictive process. By doing so, Naltrexone can reduce cravings for alcohol and opioids. This mechanism is in crucial helping patients succeed in their long-term recovery.

At the Coleman Institute, we often use a Naltrexone implant to aid in detox and recovery. This small pellet-sized implant is inserted under the skin in the lower abdominal area and functions by slowly releasing Naltrexone into the body over several months. The procedure to insert the implant is relatively minor and performed under local anesthesia.

The extended-release formulation of the implant ensures a constant and steady dose of the medication, which is key in maintaining therapeutic effects without the need for daily pill intake. This is particularly advantageous for individuals who may have difficulties remembering daily medications or who might be tempted to stop taking medication during a craving episode.

In some cases, Vivitrol is an option for Naltrexone Therapy with the Coleman Method. Vivitrol is an extended-release formulation of Naltrexone administered as an intramuscular injection. This mode of administration also ensures consistent medication levels in the body, aiding in compliance with the treatment regimen.

For the best chance for lifelong recovery, we recommend patients continue with Naltrexone Therapy for at least a year after completing detox to give them enough time to develop new, healthy habits and strong support systems.

Medication-Assisted Treatment with Naltrexone Therapy

Naltrexone is really important for opioid dependence and addiction for the main reason that it works.

Because without naltrexone, people just don't do very well. Patients really need some form of medication-assisted treatment (MAT); and the options, of course, are buprenorphine or methadone. But for 20 years, we've been specializing in naltrexone because it's a long-acting version of the drug, and it's completely non-addictive. So there's no withdrawal when you finish it, and it doesn't have any kind of getting people high or anything like that.

But without medication-assisted treatment, some people struggle. If you think of people who go into jail, and maybe they've been in jail for 3 months or 6 months or sometimes even 5 years, and almost all of them relapse as soon as they get out of jail and they have access to opioids again. It's just such a powerful addiction. We're not really quite sure why it's worse than other addictions, like alcohol or even other drugs like cocaine. But opioid addiction has a very high relapse rate.

More like this: Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT): Higher Success for Recovery



Naltrexone Studies and Outcomes

In fact, I saw a study recently where they were using a form of MAT and they had some people on the active drug and the other ones on a placebo. The placebo success was only 2%. So people who were not getting the active drug had a 98% failure rate, and they actually defined success as people who had less than 20% negative urine. So the people who were not successful weren't even staying off the drug.

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Naltrexone Therapy for Opioid Addiction

The bottom line is: Naltrexone is a very powerful drug, it's non-addictive, and it's very useful. When we use it as the implant or as Vivitrol, it lasts either 1 month or 2 months. So it's very powerful and it lasts a long time. It helps people recover and really helps people get into long-term recovery and then have a chance to stay off opioids. By taking away their cravings and allowing them to participate in their therapy and in their recovery program. Please schedule a callback with the Coleman Institute for Addiction Medicine in Richmond, VA, or one of our nationwide clinics near you if you are ready to be free from opioids. Together we can help you make changes to recover for good.

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