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What is Naltrexone?

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When someone recognizes they have developed an addiction to alcohol or opioids, they may rely on old stereotypes about what going to rehab is like. Too often, people believe getting professional help will mean weeks of white-knuckling their way through treatment without any help to reduce their cravings to drink or abuse drugs. Buckhead Behavioral Health provides focused, effective care that includes modern approaches like naltrexone that help people overcome alcohol and opioid addiction. What is naltrexone? It’s a revolutionary FDA-approved medication used to help people put alcohol and opioid addiction behind them. We offer Naltrexone as part of our multiple outpatient programs to help people achieve their goals of becoming sober for life.

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What is Naltrexone?

The answer to, “What is naltrexone?” is of interest to those struggling with addiction or who have begun treatment for it. Naltrexone received FDA approval as a prescription drug to be used in treating certain substance use disorders. It can be administered by doctors and other medical staff, including those who work in facilities that treat addiction to drugs and alcohol. The options for taking Naltrexone include using it daily in an oral form or receiving monthly injections. The medication is manufactured under the brand names Vivitrol, Depade, and ReVia.

What is Naltrexone Used For?

Naltrexone is used in the treatment of addiction to alcohol and opioid drugs. It is an opiate antagonist that blocks opioid receptors people have in their brains. As a result, if someone who is in recovery from alcohol or opioid addiction drinks or uses opioid drugs, they will not get the result they expect or want. Naltrexone blocks the person’s ability to feel drunk or high. When they do not feel the euphoria, relaxation, or high they used to feel, it makes slipping up and drinking or taking opioids again have no payoff. This effect makes people less likely to slip up again, which keeps them better able to stay in recovery and avoid relapse.

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How Long Does It Take For Naltrexone To Work?

How long it takes naltrexone to work and how long naltrexone stays in your system depend on how the medication is administered. When someone takes Naltrexone in oral form, it begins working about an hour after taking it. Those taking it via an intramuscular injection will experience an initial peak after about two hours, followed by another peak two to three days later. Its impact lasts for a month, with the effects beginning to diminish after about two weeks. 

Is Naltrexone Addictive? 

Naltrexone is non-habit forming and is not associated with drugs that can become addictive. As well, using it does not produce any sort of high in a person, which removes the temptation to abuse it.

What Are The Side Effects of Naltrexone?

Just like any other prescription drug, the possibility of experiencing side effects exists. Common side effects of Naltrexone include:

  • Stomach and abdominal pain or cramping
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Anxiety

If more serious side effects occur, they should be reported immediately to the prescribing physician. These side effects include chest pain, blurred vision, hallucinations, and shortness of breath.

Before anyone begins taking Naltrexone, they should inform their doctor of all the medications they take, including both prescription and over-the-counter drugs, and supplements, including vitamins. Drugs that can cause an adverse reaction when taken along with Naltrexone include diarrhea and cough medications, Disulfiram, and narcotics such as hydrocodone (Norco) and codeine.

How We Incorporate Naltrexone Into Our Programs

Now that you understand how the drug works, you may wonder, “What is naltrexone’s role in a treatment program?” We provide outpatient care on many different levels and can include the use of Naltrexone at the level that best fits each person’s needs. The types of outpatient care we provide include:

  • Outpatient Detox
  • Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
  • Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
  • Virtual IOP
  • Evening IOP
  • 90-Day Rehab

Our outpatient programs can be done instead of residential care, which requires a person to live in a facility for several weeks or months. Outpatient treatment allows people to remain living in their homes or a sober living home and travel to us for their therapy sessions. 

Naltrexone is most effective when used as part of an overall treatment plan. We provide options for several types of therapies that target the needs of those in recovery from addiction. We also offer prescription medications that help alleviate withdrawal symptoms. The combination of these approaches gives each person the best ability to stay sober for life.

Find Drug Rehab in Atlanta Today

Has alcohol or opioid addiction overshadowed your life for too long and you feel ready to finally get the help you deserve? Have you wondered, “What is Naltrexone and can it help me beat my addiction to alcohol or opioids?” If so, we are happy to answer your questions about this powerful medication option and more. Buckhead Behavioral Health offers several levels of drug rehab in Atlanta. We provide access to Naltrexone as an option for helping a person to reduce their cravings if they feel tempted to relapse. This increases their ability to stay substance-free for life.

Do you want more information on Naltrexone and how our program can change your life? Visit our admissions page today and get the answers you need.

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