Naltrexone is a ‘blocker’ solution for heroin or opiate users who need the extra support during recovery, of an antagonist drug.

This acts as a deterrent, such that, if an individual using Naltrexone relapses into opiate use, they do not experience any of the ‘highs’ or feelings of euphoria normally associated with such drugs.

Instead, they experience no feelings at all, and hence will lose the positive association paired with opiate use over time, thus discouraging relapse, and helping maintain positive recovery.

Antagonist drugs such as Naltrexone operate by occupying and blocking opiate receptor sites in the brain, meaning that any new opiates in the system cannot populate these sites and trigger the associated chemical pathways and associated feelings.

Naturally, chemical solutions such as Naltrexone aren’t intended as a solution to the cause of the addiction, merely a deterrent to further use, and encouragement on the bigger journey of recovery.

Naltrexone is normally available in both oral tablet and implant form. The Naltrexone implant itself is normally fitted in the lower abdomen, under local anaesthetic, and lasts for a period of 12 weeks. Longer durations are sometimes obtainable dependent on current regulations and availability.

However, prior to Naltrexone use, the individual must undergo a full supervised detox from opiate use t avoid any abreactions and ensure safe and comfortable use of Naltrexone.

Currently, Abbeycare are the only UK clinic to offer both opiate detoxification and Naltrexone under one roof, in the same residential clinic.

To enquire about Naltrexone or opiate detox, or arrange admission, call Abbeycare direct on 01603 513 091.

About the author

Peter Szczepanski

Peter has been on the GPhC register for 29 years. He holds a Clinical Diploma in Advanced Clinical Practice and he is a Clinical Lead in Alcohol and Substance Misuse for Abbeycare Gloucester and works as the Clinical Lead in Alcohol and Substance Use in Worcestershire. Peter also co-authored the new 6th edition of Drugs In Use by Linda Dodds, writing Chapter 15 on Alcohol Related Liver Disease. Find Peter on Respiratory Academy, Aston University graduates, University of Birmingham, Q, Pharmaceutical Journal, the Dudley Pharmaceutical Committee, Dudley Council, Twitter, and LinkedIn.