Naltrexone Treatment in Los Angeles

Embarking on the journey towards sobriety is a pivotal step for individuals struggling with addiction. It’s a process that requires determination, support, and often, medical assistance to successfully manage the complex nature of substance dependence. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in Los Angeles provides a range of options designed to support recovery, combining medications with counseling and behavioral therapies to treat substance use disorders including naltrexone.


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What is Naltrexone?

Naltrexone is an FDA-approved medication primarily used to treat alcohol and opioid dependencies. It acts as an opioid antagonist, meaning it blocks the opioid receptors in the brain. This blockade prevents the euphoric and sedative effects typically associated with opioid and alcohol use, aiding individuals in their recovery process. By curtailing these effects, naltrexone helps to diminish cravings and supports individuals in maintaining sobriety.

Developed in the 1960s and medically available in the United States since the 1980s, naltrexone’s effectiveness in managing alcohol use disorder was discovered through research involving rats. Its usage has since expanded, demonstrating efficacy in not only treating alcohol and opioid use disorders but also being explored for off-label applications, such as managing symptoms of cholestatic pruritus in adults.

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Types of Naltrexone Treatment

Naltrexone offers a versatile approach to treating alcohol and opioid dependence, with two primary forms of administration: tablets and injections. Each method caters to different needs and preferences, providing options for individuals on their path to recovery.

Naltrexone Tablets

Naltrexone tablets are typically prescribed in a daily dose, offering a convenient form of treatment for those committed to a structured recovery plan. The standard dosage for treating alcohol dependence and opioid use disorder is 50 mg per day, although the initial dose may be lower to minimize potential side effects. 

These oral tablets allow for flexibility and adjustment in dosing as needed, under the guidance of a healthcare professional. The effectiveness of naltrexone tablets relies heavily on patient compliance, as skipping doses can diminish its efficacy in preventing the euphoric effects of opioids and alcohol.

Injections (Vivitrol)

Vivitrol, the injectable form of naltrexone, provides an extended-release option, administered as a monthly intramuscular injection. This form is particularly beneficial for individuals seeking a maintenance treatment without the daily reminder of dependency. Vivitrol offers the same opioid-blocking effects as the tablet form but with the convenience of a once-a-month dose, ensuring consistent medication levels in the body to aid in recovery. The injection is typically given in a healthcare setting by a professional, ensuring proper administration and reducing the burden of daily medication adherence on the patient. This option is often recommended for patients who have successfully detoxed from opioids and alcohol and are looking for a long-term treatment solution to prevent relapse.


Is Naltrexone Effective?

Naltrexone has been scientifically proven to be an effective treatment option for individuals struggling with alcohol use disorder and opioid dependence. Its effectiveness is primarily attributed to its ability to block the euphoric and sedative effects of opioids and alcohol. This blockade reduces cravings and helps maintain sobriety. For alcohol use disorder, naltrexone has been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of relapse. Similarly, in opioid dependence, naltrexone aids in preventing relapse back into opioid use. It’s important to note that the success of naltrexone treatment often depends on comprehensive care, including psychological support and counseling, alongside the medication.

Safety of Naltrexone

Naltrexone is generally considered safe for use in treating alcohol and opioid dependence when used under the supervision of a healthcare provider. However, it must be prescribed cautiously, especially in individuals with existing liver conditions, as it can impact liver enzymes. Prior to initiating treatment, healthcare providers usually perform a thorough evaluation to ensure naltrexone is a suitable option. For those with a history of liver disease, monitoring liver function tests during treatment is a common practice to maintain safety.

Naltrexone Side Effects

While naltrexone is an effective and safe medication for many, some individuals may experience side effects. These are usually mild and tend to decrease over time as the body adjusts to the medication. Common side effects include:


  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety or nervousness
  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • Muscle or joint pain


Less common but more serious side effects can occur, which necessitate immediate medical attention. These include symptoms of depression, severe vomiting or diarrhea, blurred vision, or allergic reactions such as hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat. Monitoring and regular check-ups with a healthcare provider are essential to manage any side effects effectively and adjust treatment as necessary.

The Benefits of Naltrexone for Addiction Recovery

Naltrexone offers a promising avenue for individuals seeking recovery from addiction, particularly those battling alcohol use disorder and opioid dependence. As a non-addictive, opioid antagonist medication, it plays a critical role in the spectrum of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) options, providing distinct benefits for addiction recovery:

Reduces Cravings

One of the primary benefits of naltrexone is its capacity to significantly reduce cravings associated with alcohol and opioids. By blocking opioid receptors, it diminishes the rewarding effects of these substances, making the process of maintaining sobriety more manageable.

Prevents Relapse

Studies indicate that naltrexone effectively reduces the rate of relapse. For individuals in recovery, this can mean a more sustained commitment to sobriety and a decreased likelihood of returning to substance use.

Non-Addictive Treatment Option

 Unlike some other forms of MAT that involve opioid-based medications like buprenorphine, naltrexone does not pose a risk of misuse or addiction, making it a safer alternative for long-term management of substance dependence.

Flexibility in Administration

Naltrexone is available in both oral tablet form and as a long-acting injectable (Vivitrol), offering flexibility in treatment plans based on patient preference, lifestyle, and compliance considerations.

It’s important to keep in mind that the decision to use naltrexone should always be made in consultation with healthcare professionals, taking into consideration your unique circumstances, treatment goals, and a comprehensive care plan for addiction recovery.


Profound Treatment Can Help

At Profound Treatment, we understand the complexities involved in overcoming substance use disorders. Our dedicated team is experienced in providing comprehensive support and evidence-based treatments, including the use of naltrexone as part of a personalized MAT plan. We believe in addressing not just the physical aspects of addiction but also the underlying psychological factors that contribute to substance dependence. With a compassionate and holistic approach, we strive to empower our clients on their journey to recovery and sustained sobriety.

If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid addiction, reach out to Profound Treatment. Our comprehensive MAT program offers a pathway to recovery grounded in education, compassionate care, and unwavering support.

Begin Healing with Profound

If you or a loved one is exploring treatment options for alcohol use disorder or opioid dependence, Profound Treatment is here to help. We invite you to reach out to us to discuss how naltrexone might fit into your recovery plan. Our team can assist you with verifying your insurance coverage to ensure you receive the care you need without financial stress.

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Our team is standing by to discuss treatment options with you. Your call is completely confidential and no obligation is required.