Research has proven when it comes to addiction to opioids, Medication assisted treatment substantially improves the odds of successful recovery for people who

  • misuse opioids, including heroin
  • prescription painkillers
Medication Assisted Treatment for alcohol/opioid addiction has proven effective around the globe when combining certain medications with a comprehensive treatment program:
  1. Medication Assisted Treatment improves the survival rate for those dependent on alcohol and/or opioids
  2. Patients are able to retain and apply dramatically more of the skills and concepts learned in counseling
  3. The potential for relapse drops significantly
  4. Physical health begins to noticeably rebound
  5. Mental clarity and lucidity begin to return
  6. The likelihood of transmitting or contracting any disease is greatly reduced
  7. Criminal activities are far less likely to occur than during active use
  8. Employment opportunities increase significantly
  9. Childbirth outcomes are vastly improved
  10. Healthy, positive choices in most areas of life increase immeasurably

Which Medication Assisted Treatment Option Is Best For You?

There are a variety of medications used for alcohol addiction such as Naltrexone, Disulfiram and Acamprosate Calcium. For Opioid addiction there are Methadone, Suboxone, and Naltrexone. 


Methadone is a synthetic opiate that occupies the same receptors in the brain as heroin without producing the same effects of euphoria and pain relief. This allows recovering addicts to quit using heroin without suffering pain and discomfort associated with cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Methadone maintenance treatment is most ideal for those overcoming heavy and/or long-term addictions to heroin. Methadone is generally administered by physicians once per day at methadone clinics.


Suboxone is a medication used to treat opioid dependence, containing buprenorphine and naloxone. It essentially fills the brain’s opioids receptors without producing the same high as full opioids. One of the advantages of using Suboxone is that it cannot be taken to achieve a full opioid effect, making it more difficult to abuse than other forms of medication-assisted treatment, such as methadone.


Naltrexone is an FDA approved prescription medicine that not only reduces or eliminates any desire for alcohol and drugs, but effectively blocks their effects as well. There are three ways to take Naltrexone:

  • Oral
  • Injection
  • Pellet

In 1984, the FDA approved an oral pill of this drug for chronic opioid addiction, and in 1993 for alcohol addiction. This form of treatment has not been very effective however, because patients need to take the drug on a daily basis in order for it to block the opioid effects. In fact, oral Naltrexone has a 90% failure rate. Patients who have not yet developed the essential coping skills are at an extreme high risk for relapse.


Naltrexone is also available in a monthly injection as a prescription drug called Vivitrol®. The monthly injection eliminates the problem of daily dosing, but can be very painful with the large needle and intramuscular injection, can cause an abscess, requires frequent doctor visits and has a high failure rate as well.


A more recent option (and the one with the greatest potential for success) for delivering Naltrexone is an extended release pellet placed under the skin. This option offers the best duration of benefits with a lower cost per month for the recovering alcoholic or addict. While Naltrexone is being slowly released into the body, the sustained level of medication blocks the effects of alcohol and opioids so it is virtually impossible to relapse, and it allows a mind to be free and clear for recovery without the ravaging obsessions to use and drink. Just as importantly, it eliminates the need to take pills or injections, thus removing the crucial ‘compliance’ factor.

How Does Naltrexone compare with Opioid Maintenance Therapy (OMT) Drugs such as Methadone, Suboxone®, and Subutex®?

Unlike these drugs, naltrexone does not have an ‘opioid effect’ or produce any sort of high; it is non-narcotic, non-addictive and non-mood altering. Because of this fact, naltrexone is allowed in most treatment recovery programs and in sober living homes. In addition, once a person is on naltrexone, they cannot get high from opioid use and they can stop without any withdrawal symptoms. Although OMT drugs can be useful in short-term detox programs, they should not be continued for an extended period. This reduces the potential medical addiction to these prescription drugs that become just as difficult, if not more, to quit as heroin or pain medications. Remember, too, these medications typically have major withdrawal symptoms of their own, as well as requiring a full detox program.

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Naltrexone works. Don’t take our word for it, there are decades of research from around the globe confirming its effectiveness as an anti-craving medication, and when combined with a comprehensive treatment program such as the one we offer, it can be one of the most powerful tools for recovery available anywhere in the world. Please visit our Research and Testimonial section for a start.

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