Naltrexone is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designed to inhibit cravings associated with the utilization of opioids and alcohol. Since its initial approval for use in the United States over 30 years ago, medical professionals across the country and around the world have utilized this amazing tool to help thousands of people fight their addictions. For most of this time, Naltrexone was mostly available by mouth or by injection into a person’s muscles. Though effective, this method presented opportunities for people to miss their next dose, thereby opening the door for possible relapse. This problem has been mitigated, however, with the invention of the Naltrexone implant.

The Naltrexone implant slowly releases the medication into the body for up to 6 months. Within a short time after the procedure, Naltrexone begins to block receptors in the brain responsible for cravings associated with alcohol and opioid usage. This effectively helps reduce a person’s physical desires to continue using these substances and therefore improves the effectiveness and maintenance of the addiction recovery process. As such, Naltrexone implants play a vital role in helping people with alcohol and opioid addiction truly take charge of their rehabilitation and take back their lives.

This is not to say that Naltrexone is a cure for drug and alcohol addiction. Rather, Naltrexone implants are more like a powerful weapon in the crucial battle against addiction. It is like a bright light shining on the long road to recovery. But the fact remains that a person must want to end their addiction if Naltrexone is to truly help. They must have the desire to seek other forms of treatment in conjunction with the medicine. But with a real desire for recovery and the Naltrexone implant to help minimize or block physical cravings, people can finally achieve lasting results, even if they have failed attempts to kick their addiction in the past.

The United States is currently in the middle of an opioid crisis that is affecting millions of people around the nation. It seems as though more people than ever before are addicted to street and prescribed drugs, such as heroin, Fentanyl, and OxyContin (to name but a few). Recovery specialists across the country and around the world have been working hard to find solutions to this epidemic and bring people the addiction rehabilitation they need and deserve. This has lead rehabilitation professionals to seek out the latest in addiction treatment solutions. Naltrexone has been around for many years as a strong tool for recovery. But for most of its existence, Naltrexone has mostly been available in oral or injection form. Today, specialists have rejoiced at the opportunity to give their patients Naltrexone as a safe and effective implant. The implant option is arguably the strongest tool yet in the fight against opioid and alcohol addiction and the havoc it wreaks upon whole families and communities.

Who should get the Naltrexone Implant?

The Naltrexone implant is especially useful for people with a history of relapse. There are many reasons why people relapse and continue to use drugs or alcohol despite their best efforts to quit. Naltrexone helps reduce a person’s cravings and thereby makes relapse less likely than before. Without physical cravings, or with reduced physical cravings, people have less desire to do drugs or alcohol. This leg up is a significant advantage to anyone fighting addiction.

In addition, the Naltrexone implant is good for people who struggle with regularly taking oral medications as prescribed. Even the most effective medicines in the world will not work if they are not taken properly. Consistency is a potential problem for many lost in the fog of drug and alcohol addiction. For some, the recovery process can be inadvertently thwarted because they accidentally missed their next dose. This is where the implant truly shines. Naltrexone implants provides people with up to 6 months of a slow and consistent release of the medication. This helps maintain the blocking of the receptors in the brain responsible for physical cravings of opiates or alcohol.

Are Naltrexone Implants Safe?

Yes, Naltrexone implants are generally safe to use in the fight against addiction. This does not mean, however, that there are no potential risks or issues associated with the utilization of the implant method. As with any implant, infections at the site of the procedure can arise, but are not likely if proper steps are taken to keep the area clean and sanitized. Studies have also shown that some people with Naltrexone implants reported inflammation and discomfort in the area around the implant, but nothing life-threatening.  

Do People Overdose While Using Naltrexone?

Naltrexone works to block the receptors in the brain responsible for deriving pleasure from alcohol or opiates. Over time, a person will no longer feel the effects (or feel significantly less) of the substances they abuse. Especially during long periods of recovery, a person’s tolerance for drugs or alcohol will go down. Rarely, people who relapse after a long period of recovery may attempt to take the same high dosage of opioids that they were used to before they sought treatment, which can be fatal. Otherwise, Naltrexone blocks or reduces the impact of opioids and alcohol on the brain during treatment, thus preventing most overdoses. 

Is Naltrexone Safe During Pregnancy?

More studies are needed to determine if Naltrexone is safe to use during pregnancy. Recent experiments involving animal research suggested that sustained-release Naltrexone may have caused adverse effects on the subjects’ offspring. This includes a proclivity for drug-seeking in adulthood and possible diminished brain activity. Until more studies emerge measuring the effects on human offspring, it is difficult to make any definitive conclusions. However, the effects of drug and alcohol abuse during pregnancy on unborn children is clear. Babies who are born to mothers who abused opioids or alcohol during pregnancy are far more likely to suffer developmental, emotional, and cognitive problems that can have long-lasting or irrevocably damaging effects on the newborn child that can continue for the rest of their lives.