Tag Archives: naltrexone

Could new addiction medications replace mutual-help groups?

 “…the most vocal critics on either side of the debate are stuck in the bad old days, when medical treatments were untested and mutual-help groups demanded immunity from evidence. The prescription is now collaboration, not confrontation.”

My own experience has been that most of the people in the 12-Step Groups who oppose therapeutic drugs usually know little or nothing about the subject, depending on the opinions of others and (perhaps) uncontrolled personal experience to form their opinions.  This, of course, is no different from the way the majority of people form opinions in general, and is simply human nature.

The harm occurs when they pass this “wisdom” on to others, particularly newcomers.  For example, antidepressants have absolutely nothing to do with the addictive process chemically, but may well be the salvation of alcoholics and other addicts who used drugs to self-medicate their own depressive episodes.  Anyone with an ounce of real knowledge, for example, would never advise someone to stop taking antidepressants without medical supervision (due to the risk of rebound into severe depression), yet I have heard this espoused in meetings.  Antidepressants are amazingly useful drugs when used knowledgeably, but like all powerful drugs have their undesirable side effects.

This is just one example of unskillful advice.  I could mention others.

In short, tradition and ignorance have much in common.  That said, I agree with the statement above.  The prescription is, indeed, “collaboration without confrontation.”

Good article.  Worth a read: http://goo.gl/lsGGcQ

Need Info: Naltrexone as relating to PAWS

Hi Gang,

I’ve had a question from a newly sober friend regarding the effects of naltrexone on PAWS symptoms.  He’s on a 2-3 month program after opiate detox, and was wondering if there would be a noticeable effect on PAWS — severity, symptoms, length of time, etc.

There doesn’t seem to be much info out there in terms of actual research, so we’ll do a little informal survey here.  Please don’t respond with what happened to someone else, or with opinions.  Personal experience only, please.  It would be especially interesting if you’ve experienced PAWS both with and without naltrexone therapy.

Let us know how you felt, how long symptoms like depression, lack of sleep, low energy levels, confusion, and so forth lasted.  Read the PAWS article here if you’re unsure of what I mean.  Your comments could provide real help and hope for another recovering addict.

Drug found helpful in problem gamblers

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – In a study of pathological gamblers, the urge to gamble and gambling-related behaviors diminished among those who took naltrexone — a drug frequently prescribed for the treatment of alcoholism and drug dependence.

Drug found helpful in problem gamblers | Health | Reuters

More and more we’re discovering that addictions are neurologically related. It has always amazed me how some are reluctant to admit that the mechanisms that make it possible for us to function as humans also have a strong influence on aberrant behavior.