In the field of addiction treatment, Naltrexone therapy has emerged over the recent years as one of the more successful methods, ever since Naltrexone implant has been discovered. Conventional naltrexone tablets have been trialled with mixed results and are not widely seen as effective. A naltrexone implant (there is more than one formulation available worldwide) is known to improve adherence with therapy and thus improve results.
By definition, Naltrexone is an opioid receptor antagonist used in the management of alcohol and opioid dependence. In laymen’s terms, it is used to help people who have a narcotic or alcohol addiction stay drug free. Naltrexone gives best results when used for rapid detoxification (“rapid detox”) regimens for opioid dependence. The principle of rapid detoxification is to induce opioid-receptor blockage while the patient is in a state of impaired consciousness, and in effect debilitate the withdrawal symptoms.
The implant can ONLY be placed when a person has been detoxed and is ‘clean’ from all opiates. Rapid detoxification can be done under general anaesthesia or under sedation. Once the anesthesia detox procedure is completed and the opiate receptors are clean, the small implant is then inserted in the lower abdominal wall, while the patient is still under anesthesia. The Naltrexone medication that is released from the implant after detoxification will attach itself to the now empty opiate receptors in the brain, helping to reduce cravings and blocking all opiates at the receptor sites.
Naltrexone Implant is regarded much higher than the pill form because it provides a precise and continuous dosage of the opiate blocking medication. If you were to use opiates while medicated with Naltrexone, you would not experience the effects of the drug, so it would just be a waste of money.
The Naltrexone Implant requires no extraction; it will entirely dissolve and disappear once it reaches its expiration, which is from 2 to 6 months, depending on the model. It is recommended that the Naltrexone therapy be continued for a full year to ensure long term sobriety which gives the patient the best chance for learning how to deal with life without opiates. The implant will ensure that the patient has continuous protection without having to worry about taking a pill every day and the family members will not have to worry about the patient’s compliance.
Naltrexone is non-addictive and does not cause withdrawal when you stop the medication.