What Is Naltrexone?
Naltrexone (Vivitrol®, Revia®) is an opioid receptor blocker that is prescribed to treat opiate dependence and addiction. It has also been successfully used in part to treat Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). Opioid blockers bind to the opioid receptors in the brain and stop the “high” feeling. This means that effects of drugs like heroin, morphine, roxicodone, and many others, are not experienced. A drug user will not feel the physical effects of euphoria, comfort or well being associated with these drugs and it is anticipated that the user will not have the desire to take the opiate drug. Naltrexone interrupts the pathways in the brain that releases the “feel good” chemicals like endorphins when the drug is taken and has proven to be effective in reducing the frequency and severity of relapse.
Naltrexone is commonly prescribed in the oral form and must be taken daily to reduce the symptoms associated with opiate withdrawals and enhance recovery. However, the effectiveness of the drug is compromised by not adhering to the recommended dosage. To overcome this problem, the medical community had developed the Naltrexone Implant that can be implanted into the lower abdomen, inner thigh or arm or other inconspicuous regions of the body. It releases a controlled amount of Naltrexone into the bloodstream. In this form, the issues associated with skipping doses are removed and an opiate dependent person can work on overcoming his or her addiction.
Naltrexone is also available in a monthly injectable form as a prescription. The monthly injection eliminates the problem of daily dosing, but only lasts 30 days. This is, of course,a better option than daily oral tablets, but the expense and the short duration of action makes it less than ideal as a treatment option over Naltrexone Implant that gives you 90 days, instead.
Naltrexone is not a cure for addiction, but it can be a very powerful tool for those highly motivated individuals that need a simple method to reduce their temptation by providing for animmense blocker of the effects of opiates and alcohol.
Naltrexone is not a narcotic. It will not cause mental or physical dependence. It will NOT prevent impairment while drinking alcohol.