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Martin Robertson explains how Naltrexone is used for drug withdrawal

Naltrexone is a type of prescription drug belonging to a group of drugs known as opioid antagonists. Essentially, this drug is used for pharmacotherapy. This is a situation in which one drug that a person is addicted to is replaced by another prescribed drug.

Naltrexone is used to help with withdrawal symptoms from opioids like heroin, and alcohol and helps stay away from these drugs without the need to get high. As an experimental treatment, it is used during rapid withdrawal from a drug that was previously used to get high.

How Naltrexone is administered

It is taken in the form of a tablet, the period of time for which an individual takes the drug is dependent on their situation. Additionally, it can be administered through implant - this method of administration is legal in Australia.

Conditions for use of Naltrexone for treatment

  • The patient should be free from drug use or any opioids for seven to ten days before they begin treatment using Naltrexone. In case they use the drug while still reliant on the opioids, they may experience instant and acute withdrawal. A person should be tested before administration of the drug using the Naloxone Challenge Test (NCT). In this test, naloxone is given to the patient to determine how dependent they are on any opioids.
  • The patient should not have any liver conditions; for instance, acute hepatitis.
  • In case the patient is pregnant, or the patient is breastfeeding, then Naltrexone is not safe to administer.

Alcohol and Naltrexone administration

A doctor can prescribe Naltrexone to a patient who has alcohol dependence. As an alcoholic, once you start taking Naltrexone it will help to:

  • Reduce the craving for alcohol
  • Reduce the “reward” effect that a patient gets from the use of alcohol
  • Helps the patient remain abstinent from the use of alcohol

Should the patient consume alcohol, after administration of Naltrexone, the effects will still be felt, and they will be unable to manage tasks that require a sober mind. Therefore, the patient using this drug should desist from alcohol use. Additionally, there should be regular blood tests in order to monitor the liver function prior to administration of Naltrexone and during the treatment.

The effectiveness of Naltrexone as an addiction treatment

It is essential to note that Naltrexone may not work for everybody. Therefore, it is essential to consult a drug counsellor or a doctor to find the best way forward.

In order for this treatment to work, it is necessary to integrate it into a treatment program that includes alternative therapy, counselling, and a positive peer support group. There are studies that downplay the effectiveness of Naltrexone as an addiction treatment drug. According to these studies, most people who use Naltrexone as a treatment for hard drugs such as heroin usually end up back to the substance that they previously abused.

Naltrexone is effective in the prevention of relapse when used to treat a heavy drinking problem and is effective in helping wean an individual from a drinking habit to maintain a sober lifestyle.

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • ROBERTSON, M. (2016) Naltrexone [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

About the Author

Martin Robertson is a professional Pharmacist who specializes in administering Naltrexone to drug addicts helping them to live and uphold a lifestyle of somberness. Martin recommends only to purchase Naltrexone at Khemcorp after visiting a doctor or drug counsellor in order to maintain a sober lifestyle.

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