It’s tempting to look for a silver bullet solution for a substance use disorder. Unfortunately, there is no miracle answer. It simply requires the hard work of the individual in rehab and recovery over the long term. That being said, some medications can help ease the challenge of staying sober. One such drug is naltrexone. Read on as we explore naltrexone, its role in drug or alcohol treatment, and where to find a good drug detox in Costa Mesa.
What Is Naltrexone?
Naltrexone is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat alcohol or opioid use disorders.1 This medication may be prescribed and administered by physicians and medical practitioners. It may be in pill or injectable form.
The primary action of naltrexone is to block the harmful effects opioids have on the brain and prevent the euphoria that comes with drug use. Because of this, it doesn’t cause a high feeling or any narcotic-like effects, and it won’t cause mental or physical dependence.
However, naltrexone can trigger withdrawal symptoms for people who are currently physically dependent on opioids, so it’s necessary to detox before starting this medication.2 Generally, someone must stop using opioids for seven to 10 days before taking naltrexone to reduce the risks of withdrawal. The time for each person can vary, however.
Uses of Naltrexone
Naltrexone is unique among medications used for drug detox. Many practitioners use drugs like methadone or buprenorphine to address cravings, but naltrexone is used to remove the desire to take opioids by blocking opioid receptors.
After effective drug detox, naltrexone doesn’t cause any withdrawal symptoms or cravings when you stop taking it.
Opioids cause a powerful feeling of a high or a rush and relief from pain, making them so appealing. Naltrexone blocks these feelings, so even with opioids, there’s no feeling of euphoria or positive emotions. Similarly, naltrexone prevents alcohol from providing pleasure and intoxication. Over time, patients can regain a sober state and re-commit to developing a healthier lifestyle.
Naltrexone isn’t always effective at eliminating drug cravings, however. It’s essential to complete drug detox and the withdrawal period before taking Naltrexone. Once the withdrawal stage is complete, many people are motivated to stay on the path to recovery and are more receptive to the positive benefits of naltrexone.
Naltrexone can make you more sensitive to lower doses of opioid drugs. Taking opioids while taking naltrexone, including prescription painkillers, could lead to severe complications like an overdose. This is another reason why completing the withdrawal and detox stage is vital before beginning Naltrexone.
Naltrexone can have unpleasant or adverse effects with several medications or substances, including:
- Medications for cough, pain, or diarrhea
It’s essential to speak with your doctor about any medications, prescription or over-the-counter, supplements, remedies, and other substances before taking Naltrexone.
Naltrexone as Part of a Comprehensive Drug Detox Plan
As we specifically learn more about drug and opioid addiction, we’re developing more targeted and tailored approaches to treating it. Rehab centers often combine methods like talk therapy and medication with medication-assisted treatment or MAT. Naltrexone is one of the medications that your medical provider may incorporate into this treatment plan.
Naltrexone can’t treat opioid addiction alone. Instead, it’s used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan with other therapies and interventions. Thus, it typically is combined with group or individual counseling, behavioral health therapies, and more.
Drug Detox and Treatment in Costa Mesa
Opioid addiction is a powerful and debilitating condition that requires treatment. Drug detox in Costa Mesa at Clear Life Recovery uses a whole-person approach to treat opioid addiction and ensure you’re safe and comfortable through the process and find the path to recovery.
If you or a loved one seek drug detox for opioid addiction, remember that you are not alone. We’re here to help you change your life for the better, so please get in touch with us today to learn more about our services!