Naltrexone-A Breakthrough For Recovery

For many Naltrexone can make a difference in recovery from alcoholism and opiate drug abuse. Most often it is used as a tool to help achieve and maintain abstinence. But two different approaches, The Sinclair Method and The Renova Method also use it for alcohol moderation as a part of their comprehensive protocols. The chief difference is that The ReNova Method uses a low dose version along with other tools that avoids the common side effects felt with The Sinclair Method. 

Naltrexone For Alcoholism  Recovery

The History of Naltrexone

Developed in 1963 at Menlo Laboratories. Naltrexone was originally hoped to be a replacement for morphine. In that Naltrexone was a complete failure. Because unlike morphine and other opiates it coats rather than penetrates into the brain's opioid receptors. As a result, it decreases the desire for alcohol and opiate medications, by blocking the rewarding effects. 

This use was not immediately apparent and naltrexone went virtually ignored in the United States. It wasn't even approved for medical use by the FDA until 1984. Today Naltrexone is used in both daily oral and monthly deep muscle injection form. The medication is not widely used in the United States esp, in comparison to other Opiate treatments medications such as Suboxone or Methadone. 

But, early in the 1960s, a psychologist by the name of David Sinclair developed a theory that Naltrexone could be used to extinguish the craving for alcohol. Moving to Finland to gain support for his work, he tested his theory originally on specially bred rats and showed that alcohol consumption cues can be reduced. As a result, the Sinclair Method 'caught on' in Europe and has become a fairly popular alternative to traditional treatment. 

However, the side effects of the Sinclair Method's 50-75 mg. dose of Naltrexone can be intense. Extreme nausea, headaches, loss of sex drive (esp. in males) and emotional numbness are commonly reported on the Sinclair Method message boards by those who try the approach. Officially, The Sinclair Method admits to only nausea, headaches, sleep disturbance. Typically results are seen in 3-4 months but can take longer.  

The Sinclair Method 

The ReNova Method Low Dose Difference

The ReNova Method can be thought of as something of a 2nd generation version of The Sinclair Method, with higher rates of participants staying with the method due to very low rates of side effects. The physicians working in collaboration in The ReNova Method prescribed 12.5 mg. of Naltrexone as part of a more comprehensive approach. At this dosing level no side effects are usually seen and clients often report a paradoxical effect: they crave alcohol less but feel more pleasure combined with greater alertness when drinking alcohol with this dose. The exact mechanism for this result is not well understood and maybe the result of the combination of protocols used in the ReNova Method. The reports are anecdotal but common among participants. 

Low Dose Naltrexone Uses

Recently other uses have emerged for use for low dose Naltrexone. The most common of which is a combination of Naltrexone and Bupropion as a drug to treat obesity. 'Off label' it is also reported to have beneficial results as a treatment for Fibromyalgia. Additional reports of use in HIV/Aids is also reported but little research has been done for this use. 

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This practice supports the use of many types of recovery tools including the use of ant-craving medications such as Naltrexone or Vivitrol as a part of a recovery program. These medications require a lawful prescription from a medical professional. 

Services may be provided by referral to Mary Burgesser MD or healthcare professional of your choice. 

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