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NALTREXONE

A NEW MEDICATION MAY HELP PEOPLE GIVE UP THEIR ADDICTION TO OPIUM DRUGS, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Would you be willing to undergo injections to help you stop using drugs like heroin or Oxycontin?  Marc Fishman, an addiction expert at Johns Hopkins, has been using this medication, called naltrexone, for several years in research studies, and says it’s well tolerated.

FISHMAN: Who wants to get a shot?  That’s a pain in the you know what.  But it turns out while we have other good treatments for opioid dependence the problem with those is that you have to take them every day.  Sometimes patients forget or they debate with themselves should I take it, should I not take it?  And the day that you miss the medication is the day that you’re more vulnerable to relapse and getting back into trouble with addiction.  The great advantage with this extended naltrexone medication is that it lasts a month, and then you’ve made a commitment, you’re all in for that month.  While the pills may be effective they don’t work in the bottle, they only work if you take them.   :35

Fishman emphasizes that the medication is used in conjunction with counseling and development of life skills.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.


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