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Naltrexone Implants & Tablets
We strongly recommend taking naltrexone for 12 months following your detoxification as part of an abstinence based recovery focused program.
What is naltrexone?
Naltrexone blocks the effects of all opiates. It works by binding to drug receptors in your brain, which prevents opiate drugs from having their usual effect. Naltrexone is not a cure in itself, but by preventing you from getting your usual high, it can help to break the cycle of drug use.
Why use naltrexone?
Over 15 years of experience in this field has shown us that the use of an opiate blocker is essential as it:
- Helps to prevent cravings
- Reduces relapse rates
- Gives much better long-term outcomes
- Implanted naltrexone is even more successful, as it allows the person to completely move away from daily medication
How do I take naltrexone?
Naltrexone must be taken for 12 months following detox. We recommend it is in the form of implants for at least 6 months of this, but it can be taken in tablet form on a daily basis.
At Detox 5, unlike other services, we use 2 ‘Sherman’ Implants of 1.12g naltrexone. This ensures the implants work for the full 3 month period by providing a higher blood level of naltrexone than can be achieved with a single implant.
These small implants are placed under your skin in your lower abdomen. The implants release controlled amounts of naltrexone into your body. The implant blocks the effect of opiates for three months.
With the implant, there is no need to worry about remembering your daily tablet, or thinking about any medication - this is an important factor in reducing cravings and allowing you to move on from opiates.
When you get the implants, a minor surgical procedure will be performed before you leave the hospital. A very small incision will be made in your lower abdomen in front of your hip bone, the implant inserted, and the wound closed with three or four stitches. The procedure is performed under local anaesthetic and takes about 20 minutes to perform. You will be ready to leave the hospital within an hour or two of the procedure.
We recommend that you have another implant three months after the first one. After the first six months, you can elect to have a further implant or choose to switch to naltrexone tablets. We recommend you take naltrexone for at least 12 months after discharge.
Should you not wish to opt for implants, tablets may be taken daily under the supervision of your ‘supervisor’- a relative or friend who does not use drugs.
We recommend that you take a daily 50mg dose of Naltrexone for 12 months after leaving the programme. Many people receive ongoing prescriptions via their GP. Detox 5 can assist you in this regard.