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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Is Naltrexone advisable for alcohol addiction withdrawal?

I am struggling with my drinking habits and have been actively involved in 12 step programs. I would like to hear your view on the use of Naltrexone. I have heard great things when used in conjunction with counseling/therapy as my main issue is that I started drinking more as a coping mechanism to deal with serious life circumstances.
Tue, 27 Feb 2018
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Addiction Medicine Specialist 's  Response
Yes, it increases long term success about 25%, but you might not want to take it in this context. Naloxone is a blocker of narcotics. There is some narcotic like substances produced in the context of drinking. Naloxone makes it so you don't get as much joy from drinking. Rarely, taking it WHILE DRINKING can produce a narcotic withdrawal. uhoh!
But once off alcohol, it helps maintain sobriety. Antabuse is about as effective and it ALWAYS makes you SICK if you drink while taking it.
So, detox. Probably in a professional inpatient setting FOLLOWED by medication is the general way this is done.
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