anonymous Asks ...
Is there any disadvantage or bad side effects to using a naltrexone implant for opiates after detox. My doctor has suggested it and I have not heard much about it, most people I know get on methadone or Suboxone and i don't know anyone who is using it.
Jim LaPierre Says ...
To my knowledge, side effects are rare and this method has been used abroad successfully for years now. Personally, I favor the use of Suboxone over Methadone as there is less functional impairment associated with Suboxone (in my experience). Depending on how long your drug abuse/addiction duration was, you should check with your doctor regarding dosage and how long you'll be using it. Talk with your doctor as to why he/she recommends this method as opposed to pill form or strips that disolve under your tongue.
The advantages of the implant seem many - less medication management. You'll likely save money on insurance copays and not have to refill prescriptions every month. Your doctor may require that you be in substance abuse and/or addictions counseling while you're prescribed Suboxone - it's common practice that they do so and it's well worth it assuming you do your homework and find a counselor that's a good match for you. Look at developing relapse prevention plans and carefully identify your triggers for cravings. Look at developing new habits and new routines as these too are key to managing your abstinence.
Talk with your doctor about any others meds you may be taking. Unless you have a co-occurring chronic pain condition, my suggestion is lowest possible dose for shortest period of time. I know Suboxone helps as it blocks opiate receptors. I also know that what's truly effective is changing your life, developing and utilizing a strong support system, and accessing NA and AA for Recovery.