Some Common Questions About Our Programs

Why are overwhelming desires, obsessions, compulsive urges, intrusive thoughts and cravings important?

In one sentence: RECOVERY IS ALL BUT A DREAM UNLESS THE UNCONTROLLABLE MADNESS AND PARALYZING OBESESSION THAT ARISE FROM CRAVINGS FOR DRUGS AND ALCOHOL ARE NEUTRALIZED. We know, we have been there…it’s absolutely brutal and it seems there is no way out. Naltrexone has work miracles for thousands in this regard. It helps jump start the typical recovery by leaps and bounds, as typically the first 30-90 days of any treatment is focused on the managing of compulsive urges that ravage the mind. We help remove the intrusive compulsion to drink or use, so you can refocus on healing and recovering: new life skills, your responsibilities, coping skills, trigger awareness and redirecting, your relationships and family, and your long term psychosocial-behavioral aspect of the recovery. It is absolutely vital during the first six months of recovery to have a liberated mind–free of the program of enslavement that drugs and alcohol have created in your mind.

What is the BioCorRx® Recovery Program?

The BioCorRx Recovery Program is an outpatient medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program for alcohol and opioid drug addiction. The comprehensive program is comprised of three parts: (1) an implant, of a proprietary compounded formulation of the non-addictive medication, naltrexone. The naltrexone implant, which is prescribed by a licensed physician and implanted under the skin, can reduce the cravings for opioids and alcohol, and block opioid euphoric effect, over an extended period of time; (2) uniquely and specifically structured, intensive one-on-one addiction counseling program developed by BioCorRx, Inc.® (the “Counseling Program”) and (3) up to 12 months of expert Recovery Support Specialist sessions via phone, Skype or in-person, matched to you in terms of age, race, gender, etc. Most Specialists are in recovery or have recovered both within and outside of the BioCorRx Program.

Who is BioCorRx?

BioCorRx is the company that has developed the counseling portion of the BioCorRx® Recovery Program and can assist addiction treatment clinics, substance abuse counselors and others who are qualified to offer the Counseling Program. BioCorRx helps these organizations and professionals develop the communications skills, techniques and assessment and case management protocols, which we believe to be unique to the Counseling Program. In addition, BioCorRx has been granted an exclusive license to the proprietary implant by its developer. This license allows BioCorRx to license to physicians and medical groups experienced in treating drug and alcohol dependence giving them the right to order the proprietary implant from the [handful of] compounding pharmacies that have been licensed and trained to make the implant by its developer. It also allows BioCorRx to sub-license access to the implant to territories in the U.S. and abroad. Because BioCorRx is passionate about helping individuals who are suffering from addiction, BioCorRx offers background and educational materials to encourage the use of the implant in conjunction with the Counseling Program.BioCorRx is not a licensed health care provider and does not provide health care services to patients. BioCorRx does not own, operate, or manage substance abuse clinics. BioCorRx makes the BioCorRx® Recovery Program available to health care providers to utilize when the health care provider determines it is medically appropriate and indicated for his or her patients. Any physician or licensed addiction treatment provider is solely responsible for treatment options prescribed or recommended to his or her patients. At all times, such providers retain complete and exclusive authority, responsibility, supervision and control over their medical practice, their patients, the treatment that their patients receive and any decision to prescribe the implant to any of the provider’s patients. BioCorRx does not condition its license to health care providers accessing the implant on their making available the Counseling Program to the providers’ patients – although BioCorRx certainly encourages that providers do so.BioCorRx does not have any contact with drug and alcohol dependent individuals or their families (other than those who may happen to find this website or call or visit the corporate office unsolicited.) BioCorRx’s focus is to educate the medical community on the benefits of considering the BioCorRx® Recovery Program for their patients.

What is Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) and their 2006 ‘COMBINE’ study – (Combining Medications and Behavioral Interventions for Alcoholism) – the best outcomes in naltrexone therapy are a result of receiving naltrexone along with sixteen weeks of outpatient behavioral-modification counseling. The BioCorRx® Recovery Program, in compliance with NIAAA and HHS guidelines, has expanded on this cutting-edge concept.

What is Naltrexone?

Naltrexone is an FDA approved medicine that serves as an ‘opioid receptor antagonist’, meaning Naltrexone blocks alcohol and opiates from activating the pleasure centers of the brain, and thus used to treat the dependence on them. Naltrexone blocks certain receptors in the part of the brain that trigger dopamine release and reinforces the vicious and compulsive addiction feedback loop. When these areas of the brain are blocked, the craving for alcohol is either eliminated entirely or at the bare minimum, significantly reduced. Then it naturally follows that the likelihood of drinking is either eliminated entirely or significantly reduced. And if alcohol is consumed, the pleasure is basically non-existent and any potential relapse is largely neutralized.

Is the Naltrexone implant FDA approved?

While Naltrexone has been FDA approved since the 80’s and the implant has had great success around the globe for over 20 years, the FDA has not given a specific approval for the actual Naltrexone time-release implant, yet. We feel it won’t be long. Due to the successful role it plays in so many individual recoveries, efforts are underway to gain formal approval for the implant. The 100% biodegradable implant is custom compounded by FDA approved pharmaceutical experts in an FDA approved facility for a specific individual using FDA approved Naltrexone…and only by prescription from a medical doctor based on his professional opinion that it is the right match for you and your recovery. And of course, only a licensed medical doctor performs the procedure.

What’s a compounded formulation?

The implant is a specially compounded, implantable formulation of naltrexone that is made specifically for each individual program patient participant only after a prescription is written by medical caregiver who deems that the individual patient is a good candidate for the implant formulation. Compounding is a common and legal process used by licensed pharmacies to create special formulation and/or combinations of FDA approved drugs by prescription. The pharmacies that make each implant must strictly follow state and federal compounding laws. Naltrexone implants have been used successfully and safely worldwide for approximately 20 years. Tens of thousands of individuals worldwide have successfully undergone treatment for addiction with the use of naltrexone implants. Have any critical trials been conducted on the Naltrexone Implant? No. There have been no clinical trials testing the efficacy of the BioCorRx® Recovery Program. There may be clinical trials in the future.

Is Naltrexone addictive?

NO! Naltrexone is not addictive, non-habit forming, non-mood altering and there is no physical dependence. It does not produce a “high” or any feelings or sensations that could be considered pleasurable or addictive. In addition, there is no physical withdrawal or evidence of rebound drinking or using when Naltrexone wears off or is discontinued. This is why so many consider it the best possible medicine in a comprehensive program of sobriety.

Does Naltrexone cure alcoholism or opioid addiction?

No, because a ‘cure’ doesn’t exist. Alcoholism and drug addiction is a chronic, complex, and multi-factorial disease. There is no magic cure. It should be considered a chronic brain disease. Alcoholism, as with most addictions, is a result of psychosocial AND physiological malfunctions. BOTH the physical aspect and the psychosocial/behavioral/emotional aspect of this disease should be addressed to have the highest chance of obtaining, and maintaining, sobriety.

Why have I not heard of medicines available to assist alcoholics/addicts in their struggle?

This is a very good question. Our country’s treatment of addiction has been absurdly ineffective and misguided since its inception. We have done a great job with the psychosocial/behavioral aspect of addiction but still have abysmally low rates of sobriety. Why is that? It is because the physiologic and pharmacologic aspect of treatment has been ignored and under-developed. It would be unheard of to withhold insulin from an un-controlled diabetic and insist upon only providing intensive nutritional and exercise recommendations. Proper nutrition and exercise would certainly help, and that behavioral modification is required for success. But, quite simply, for many diabetics this would not be sufficient. Many diabetics require insulin in addition to dietary modification and motivation. The treatment of addiction should be approached in this comprehensive manner as well.

What are the common side effects of Naltrexone?

Naltrexone has and enviable, proven record of safety and it is a well tolerated medicine. The most common side effects of naltrexone, that occur in the minority of patients are nausea, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, fatigue, insomnia and anxiety. Many people report no side effects at all. If present, most side effects are mild and self-limiting. Often, it is difficult to determine whether the symptoms are true side effects, or a result of the body’s detoxification from chronic alcohol and drug dependence. Although exquisitely rare, in supra-therapeutic doses on pre-disposed individuals. Naltrexone has been noted to have inflammatory effects on the liver, so routine blood testing of liver function should be performed prior to treatment. Uncommonly, program participants may report depression or exacerbation of pre-existing mood disorders including suicidal ideation. For a more detailed report on side effects of naltrexone, click here.

Are there any complications from receiving a Naltrexone implant?

Naltrexone is a very safe medication that has been used for many years. The implants are generally very well tolerated. Beside the side-effects mentioned above, program participants can report itching, tenderness, swelling, pain, irritation, inflammation, or infection around the surgical site. The majority of cases of irritation or inflammation resolve with time. Often, antihistamines and topical and/or oral steroids are used to help treat the local inflammation. In cases of infection, antibiotics may be needed. In the very unlikely case of severe infection or inflammation, a doctor may recommend removal of the implant. The implant is contraindicated in individuals with acute hepatitis, advanced liver disease, or kidney failure. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult with their physician before beginning Naltrexone treatment. The implant is surgically placed, and there will be a small linear surgical scar. Each individual scars differently. In some cases, a small nodule of fibrous tissue may remain palpable under the skin. Although very unlikely, as with any foreign body there is a risk of rejection, tissue breakdown, and necrosis.

How does Naltrexone react with other medications?

Consult with a physician, but most medications can be taken while on naltrexone. It’s important to let the doctor know what medications are being taken prior to naltrexone therapy so that any contraindications can be determined. Naltrexone will block the effect of opioid pain relievers so it is important to notify medical personnel if you are receiving naltrexone treatment. It may also render cough and cold medications containing opioids ineffective. During naltrexone therapy, program participants carry a medical card that may be carried discreetly in one’s wallet or purse. In the event of that someone on naltrexone therapy requires pain relief due to any medical circumstances, alternative analgesia or high doses of opioid medication may be administered in the monitored hospital setting. There are a number of readily available alternative pain relievers that can be used in conjunction with naltrexone. Acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, gabapentin, lidocaine patches, muscle relaxers, steroids, and various other alternative pain relief and anti-inflammatory medications may be effectively used while on naltrexone therapy. In addition, the implant can be removed and narcotics administered after naltrexone is out of the patient’s system. This can take several hours or days.

Can I just take the oral form of Naltrexone?

Yes you can, but your chances at recovery are slashed. Alcoholics and addicts in the throes of the disease are extremely unruly and un-compliant. The chances of them taking the medication as prescribed are slim and further, it is common that as soon as a real alcoholic starts feeling like he has recovered and doesn’t need help, they ignore the help and slip back into their old ways. Relapse is almost a given. Naltrexone in the oral or injectable form does work, but there are distinct advantages to receiving a naltrexone implant. The implant releases a slow and steady dose of Naltrexone into the body over many months resulting in consistent drug levels and long lasting effective suppression of the cravings and opioid effectiveness. There are significantly fewer fluctuations in the drug levels, which tends to maintain a more reliable and steady suppression of the cravings. Most importantly, having the implant removes the critical issue of daily medication compliance typically seen in most program participants dealing with addiction. When taking naltrexone orally a program participant often skips a dose or sleeps in too late, or forgets to pack the medication on travel or may be unable to get a refill, or more commonly, may be deceived into believing that they are now in control and no longer require the medicine. Each of these scenarios illustrate how medication non-compliance often leads to relapse.

What if I’m addicted to opioids (often referred to as Opiates), can I receive the implant?

Yes. Naltrexone is FDA approved for the treatment of opioid addiction but there are additional considerations that must be made. Opioid recovery should be managed by a medical caregiver who has training and experience in treating opioid addiction. The naltrexone implant used in the BioCorRx Recovery Program has been used successfully for many years by doctors in Australia to treat opioid addiction. BioCorRx does not render medical advice or make medical decisions in this regard. An independent prescribing doctor may deem he long-lasting compounded naltrexone implant as a safe and appropriate treatment for his patient in opioid recovery. Most doctors require that patients be at least 7 to 10 days opioid-free before receiving any type of naltrexone treatment. Please speak to a licensed physician about naltrexone use to opioid addiction treatment. There are associated risks if you attempt to abuse narcotics while on naltrexone. There is a life threatening risk of overdose if you attempt to overcome the antagonist properties of naltrexone. Furthermore, tolerance is dramatically lower after just a short time of opioid abstinence, so once the naltrexone implant has dissolved and is no longer providing effective levels in the serum, there is significantly higher risk of fatal drug overdose if relapse.

Why is the one-on-one intensive counseling program necessary?

The BioCorRx® Recovery Program is comprehensive, so as to provide each one of program participant the highest opportunity for success. In addition to utilizing medicine to address the physical and neurobiological aspect of the disease, program participants will engage in intensive and individualized one-on-one sessions with licensed drug and alcohol counselors (most of whom are recovered addicts.) As discussed above, to obtain and maintain sobriety, the physical AND the psychosocial/behavioral aspect of addiction must be addressed. The naltrexone implant is a very effective tool that, in some people, virtually eliminates the physical cravings for an extended period of time. Once physical cravings are suppressed, the individual can then focus entirely on the equally important and difficult psychosocial aspect of the recovery. Study after study indicates that medical therapy in combination with counseling is superior to medical therapy or counseling alone. It is critical to understand that addiction is a lifelong struggle. Our program has remarkable success in assisting to accomplish sobriety in the vast majority of program participants. Once successfully enrolled in our program, and liberated from the shackles of alcohol or drug addiction, we strongly encourage and endorse long-term participation in support groups (12-step, or otherwise) to maintain personal focus, lifelong surveillance, and to offer a helping hand to others that fight a similar struggle.IMPORTANT: Many program participants receiving the implant may feel that they are “cured” in a couple of months due to the effectiveness of the implant and therefore, do not remain as dedicated to their counseling sessions. There is no known cure for addiction. The implant is a very effective tool to relieve the burden of hyper-focused cravings but the psycho-social and behavioral component of the disease must be modified or relapse is almost certain. Clinics using the program have reported a very high success rate with those who completed the entire counseling portion of the program and much lower success rates with those who DO NOT complete the program. The Counseling is critical to success.

What makes this recovery program different?

  1. Unlike most traditional recovery programs which invest the first 30-90 treatment days in assisting a patient to deal with the physical cravings of addiction, BioCorRx® Program participants are typically absent the physical cravings on day one, and thus can focus clearly without distraction on the information, concepts, change, and education presented in the 16 session counseling program to learn and implement unrealized coping strategies and healthy behaviors.
  2. The implant used in the BioCorRx® Program tends to last longer than others available in the U.S. as evidenced by clinical outcomes (time lengths vary depending on the individual).
  3. Other naltrexone implant providers tend to simply perform the procedure and do not include a structured naltrexone early-recovery focused counseling program. Those that do include programs, tend to offer life coaching only referring patients to outside centers with no continuity of care or follow-up.
  4. No other recovery programs of which we are aware provide 16 sessions of MAT counseling and 12 months of unlimited coaching and tracking post-implant procedure.

What happens if I use while on Naltrexone?

Simple: Don’t do it, stick with your program of sobriety…

Do we support AA?

Absolutely! We have no association or affiliation with AA or other similar support groups, but our ultimate goal is simply to help as many individuals as possible become sober and maintain sobriety. We want program participants to be emancipated from the misery of their addiction and be able to realize and fully manifest their potential. We want to assist in giving them back their life. AA is a firmly established and successful organization that we support. It teaches a manner of living that can benefit anybody and establishes a mechanism that the alcoholic can support and help others with a similar struggle. It serves as a safe place to be constantly reminded of the risk of relapse, and provides additional tools and support to maintain long term sobriety. The benefit of fellowship and camaraderie of a group support in recovery cannot be overstated. We do not consider our program in conflict with AA. In fact, we believe that our program will assist AA, or any support group or recovery program in achieving lasting success with a higher percentage of their participants. We recognize that many people in the throes of addiction are incapable of concentrating and absorbing the teaching of counselors, therapists, and group meetings. And no matter how hard they try, some individuals are unsuccessful in the “white knuckle” approach. In addition, every person and every recovery journey is different and many individuals simply don’t thrive in the group setting. By eliminating the intrusive and overwhelming craving to drink, we find that program participants are better able to ingest, digest, and apply the teachings from their counselors, therapists, AA, alternative 12-step program, SMART recovery, or wherever they feel most comfortable so as to maintain long term sobriety.

What is the price of the Program?

It depends on you and your exact needs, really.No doubt about it the price is a major consideration and nobody knows that better than us. Having gone through the treatment game personally, we can attest that price is often one of the least important factors if a true recovery is possible. Most importantly, what is the cost of not recovering? However, this program is truly unique, and as such there is no way to offer a blanket, up-front. catch-all price… it just wouldn’t be fair without understanding your complete, unique recovery needs. We will absolutely provide a detailed proposal after the initial evaluation, once we are able to make our full suite of treatment recommendations. Please know that there are a multitude of ways to finance the Outpatient Program should it be an issue and we will work with you diligently to find a solution.