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Naltrexone Abuse and Addiction

Naltrexone Addiction & Treatment

Substance abuse is a concern that millions of Americans deal with each day. Living with an active drug or alcohol addiction can significantly impact a person’s day-to-day life including side effects that impact your physical and mental health. As you begin to notice the impacts of your substance use disorder, you have undoubtedly had thoughts about what life could be like if you were to quit drugs and alcohol. While you have the desire to quit substance abuse, there are often questions and concerns about the addiction treatment process including any presenting withdrawal symptoms that can occur. Engaging in an addiction treatment program will provide you with the ongoing support of licensed healthcare professionals and addiction counselors that will support you in safely overcoming your addiction while developing a new way of life in sober living.

What Is Naltrexone?

Naltrexone is an FDA-approved prescription medication that is often provided to patients that are attempting to quit their use of drugs and alcohol but are presenting with severe withdrawal symptoms and cravings for drugs and alcohol. Naltrexone is also known under the brand names ReVia and Depade which are pill forms of this prescription drug that are commonly given in doses of 50mg. Additionally, there is an injectable form of Naltrexone known as Vivitrol. Patients using Vivitrol will administer this medication as an intramuscular injection once a month. Naltrexone is most commonly provided for patients that are looking for ways to treat and overcome an alcohol or opioid addiction. Naltrexone is most effective when individuals have stopped using drugs and alcohol for 7 days before starting Naltrexone.

Naltrexone Effects

Naltrexone works by blocking the effects of drugs and alcohol, specifically the sedative and euphoric side effects. Naltrexone differs from other opioid medication-assisted treatments as it binds and blocks the opioid receptors in the brain rather than activating them. When someone begins to drink alcohol or engage in opioid abuse while taking Naltrexone, individuals will not feel the effects of alcohol abuse or opioid abuse. For these reasons, Naltrexone is commonly used as a form of relapse prevention for individuals navigating sober living in early addiction recovery.

Signs of Naltrexone Abuse and Addiction

Naltrexone is commonly provided to individuals undergoing an addiction treatment program with access to medical professionals supervising their use of Naltrexone. Naltrexone also works to block the effects of euphoria and sedation that individuals are searching for when engaging in alcohol abuse or opioid abuse which eliminates the ability to get high or impaired from Naltrexone. For these reasons, there is minimal risk of naltrexone addiction.

Naltrexone Withdrawal Symptoms

Although there is minimal risk for Naltrexone addiction, there is a possibility that individuals will feel side effects and withdrawal symptoms once they end their use of Naltrexone. Naltrexone rarely produces physical dependence within its users but can impact a person’s mental health and body functioning. Naltrexone withdrawal symptoms can include the following: 

  • Stomach aches
  • Vomiting 
  • Nausea
  • Aches and pains within your body 
  • Difficulty sleeping or insomnia 
  • Nervousness 
  • Anxiety

Long Term Side Effects of Naltrexone Abuse

Naltrexone has been approved by the FDA as an effective, safe medication to provide patients that are undergoing a medication-assisted treatment program. While most patients will react positively to this form of addiction treatment, there are some rare cases where patients will experience the onset of long-term side effects that impact a person’s mental health and physical functioning including: 

  • Liver complications 
  • Muscle aches and stiffness 
  • Extreme fatigue or being unusually tired 
  • Suicidal thoughts or ideations 
  • Becoming hypersensitive to drugs 
  • Increase in white blood cell count 
  • Swollen, tender lymph nodes

Naltrexone Addiction Treatment

The Detox Center of LA offers our patients a comprehensive approach to addiction treatment that includes a whole-person integrated approach to addiction recovery. Through our various levels of care including inpatient treatment, outpatient rehab, and aftercare programs, patients will be provided with ongoing therapeutic support as they develop a new foundation that fosters sober living, stability, and health. Your treatment plan will incorporate various evidence-based therapy methods that will support you in identifying the root causes of your drug or alcohol addiction while healing from the emotions and traumas that have influenced your addictive behaviors. As you heal from your past, you will receive coping skills, life skills, and tools for relapse prevention for sober living to help you succeed in addiction recovery. Our approach will help you gradually eliminate the use of naltrexone as you become stronger in your recovery programs and allow you the freedom to remain free of drugs and alcohol. Contact our recovery center today to hear more about the individualized treatment programs that are offered to our patients and take the first steps towards your new way of life in sober living.