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Naltrexone: Anti-Craving Medication Helps End Alcohol Abuse

By Dr. Ed Wilson and Dr. Mary Ellen Barnes

“WOW, what can I say – that Naltrexone is great! It took away my cravings and let me get a leg up on my drinking problem. Everybody should try it.” Jay M. San Diego, CA

FDA Approved to Counteract Your Alcohol Cravings

Widely available in Europe for over twenty years, Naltrexone provides quick relief to most drinkers. When used in conjunction with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Naltrexone has been shown to significantly enhance alcohol treatment effectiveness.

For most of our clients it functions in much the same way nicotine patches do for smokers, it cuts the craving for alcohol. In addition, it interferes with the brain’s feeling of well being that is associated with drinking. Simply put, you’ll have less desire to drink and none of the usual rewards from drinking.

Naltrexone support isn’t anything like the more commonly prescribed Antabuse, an aversive drug whose use resulted in violent illness when combined with even trace amounts of alcohol. That did sometimes work for those willing to risk the results and still fits well with the frequently punitive nature of many treatment regimens.

Naltrexone Helps Some Drinkers Moderate Their Alcohol Use

The two-pronged, but non-aversive, effects of Naltrexone have also been found to be effective for those of you seeking to moderate your alcohol use. With cravings eliminated and pleasurable effects muted, drinkers, such as yourself, often find your consumption declining.

As we are sure you can figure out, as alcohol’s appeal declines, other recreational and social activities expand to fill the time formerly allotted to drinking. With this change in emphasis many of our clients find themselves easing back out of alcohol abuse and dependence in much the same way they grew into it.

I’m successfully drinking only 1 beer a day and really happy about that! The Naltrexone makes such a difference. Thanks.” Bob L. San Pedro, CA

Naltrexone really did take my craving away. I can now concentrate on getting my life together. This is great!” Marie J. Great Falls, MT

Naltrexone saved my marriage. What can I say – it works! My drinking is under control. My wife isn’t leaving me. Your program helped me so much.” Ernie. F. Los Angeles, CA

Effective Counseling Insures Long Term Change

Naltrexone helps to level the playing field, so to speak, while competent counseling helps build new behaviors. Long term success means creating a new life without alcohol abuse that is more satisfactory than your old one.

Without effective help, many people will follow their prescription for a period of time then stop using it and old behaviors reassert themselves. Consequently, Naltrexone works best as a temporary support in conjunction with competent professional counseling whether the goal is abstinence or moderation.
Generally speaking, this will involve short-term cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in an outpatient setting. Ideally, the Naltrexone phase in a person’s behavioral change program should last from three to six months with a gradual phase-out, though is easily tailored to individual client’s needs and preferences.

Give Yourself Every Chance For Success!

As you know, real change takes time and a gradual transition away from medical and therapeutic support is usually most effective. The success that you achieve is, after all, usually based on your motivation, support, knowledge, and practice.

Naltrexone isn’t a magic bullet but it does help create a window of opportunity – a window waiting for you to use. Don’t miss this opportunity. With good planning, new activities, and competent support you will find that change is possible.

Remember, your reclaimed life is a tremendous gift to give, both to yourself and those around you. If you would like to try anti-craving medication, our physicians can help – give us a call at 888-541-6350.

By |2016-11-14T06:14:14+00:00May 11th, 2010|Medication|11 Comments


  1. matt June 3, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    I’m interested in using Naltrexone to help moderate my drinking, can you provide more information?

  2. Shea Osteen July 12, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    I love to drink wine and it always seems to get me in trouble, especially with my husband who hates drinking. I need to curb the cravings to drink every weekend. I need to know more and what I can do to curb the craving or even possibly take the urge away.

  3. Kathryn February 7, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    I would like more information on Naltrexone. I used Chantix to quit smoking, so I am familiar with the concept.

    Due to financial stresses and the marital stresses that resulted, I began drinking too much. It has definitely scared my kids and angered my husband.

    I am working hard to regain balance in my life, and your program sounds like it would work for me. While relaxed with friends, I am fine…it is when family life gets stressful that I tend to over indulge. Thank you

  4. Jan M February 24, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    Can this really help? Am being forced into 28 day program…do not believe in AA done that got nowhere..need help going through menopause has definitely made things worse

  5. lookbook January 3, 2012 at 2:10 am

    In May 2004, I took my last drink….being predisposed to alcoholism (both parents were alcoholics) and after having a couple really bad encounters with family (made a complete “A” of myself) I decided to break the cycle before it had a chance to start in my immediate family. Naltrexone was an absolute miracle drug….literally, walking down the wine/booze aisle at the local store was uneventful. I believe it even curbed my desire for chocolate?!?! At any rate, it gave me the needed mental break from obsessing about it, so that I could focus on behavior change/personal growth work I’d been doing. If there is anyone out there who desires to let go of drinking and the obsessing that often accompanies it, Naltrexone is the stepping stone for you. I am nearly 8 years sober…if I can do it, anyone can do it! 🙂

  6. greg Bird January 20, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    What is the cost and can I jjust take the prescription or implant and not do the therapy? What are the side affects from this drug? Thank you, Greg Bird

  7. Dr. Mary Ellen Barnes & Dr. Ed Wilson January 23, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Hi Greg:
    The cost of the program is $12,500.00. No, you cannot just take the prescription and not do the therapy. If you don’t make changes, when you quit the medication you will go right back to drinking too much. The therapy is there for a reason. Side-effects include sleepiness and nausea, but those seem to go away in about 5 days.

  8. Mjwaed May 15, 2012 at 10:47 am

    tell me this please, to the best of my medical knowledge, this med would be great in a person NOT suffering from chronic, low dose narcotic therapy? Or to put it right up there, not take it at all if this person needed constant , low level narcotics, right? I’m sure it works great. Just NOT if u still USE

  9. Dr. Mary Ellen Barnes & Dr. Ed Wilson June 5, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Naltrexone is an opiod receptor blocker, so if you are on a low dose narcotic that is an opiate-based medication, which most of them are, then Naltrexone would not be the drug to take. It would interfer with the low-does narcotic therapy.

  10. […] use of medicinal support such as the use of Naltrexone alongside professional support in moderation is becoming more well […]

  11. Duane July 29, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    Naltrexone has been like a magic bullet for me. Not only has it all but eliminated my desire for alcohol, it has had a number of unexpected benefits. While I’ve never been diagnosed with OCD I have always been plagued with restless repetitive thoughts/worrying/stress, etc. Feelings of irrational toxic guilt often accompanied this. I noticed that by day 2 things had changed. I explained what was happening to my wife, who has had to deal with my neurotic BS for 15 years, and she just smiled and said “that’s how normal people are honey”…it was a profound realization for me because I had never felt this clear headed…this “normal”. Feeling calm was so foreign to me that I was taken aback by it.

    I could go on and on about the incredible impact naltrexone has had on my life, as I’ve really just scratched the surface. Yes there have been side effects. I almost pooped my pants on day one and was drowsy for the first few days. I also couldn’t sleep through the night and tossed and turned a lot. I cut the 50mg in half and took 25mg in the morning and 25mg at night and that seemed to mellow out things out for me.

    Below is a list in point form all of the areas in my life where I’ve seen dramatic improvements. Some of these are no doubt the result of stopping my alcohol consumption, but I’m including them anyway because without Naltrexone I wouldn’t have stopped drinking.

    *alcohol – zero desire after day 1
    *racing thoughts – gone
    *toxic guilt – gone
    *binge eating – gone
    *sugar cravings – gone
    *carbohydrate cravings (a big one for me) – gone
    *mood swings – drastically reduced
    *weight loss – 20lbs
    *erectile dysfunction – functional 🙂
    *autoimmune issues – drastically improved
    *mental clarity – improved
    *daddying – drastically improved
    *husbanding – drastically improved
    *contentment- yep, things are pretty great 🙂

    If anyone has any specific questions feel free to contact me. I don’t work for this website or whoever makes naltrexone. I’m just a regular guy who has had a really positive experience and I’d like to help others. I was a crazy 2 to 3 times a week binge drinker. It was killing me. I’m very greatful and want to pass it on.


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