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Opiate Cravings

Those who suffer from opiate addiction may want to learn a few things about Vivitrol, or injectable Naltrexone, which reduces alcohol cravings for those with alcohol dependence.  This may be of interest because phase 3 trials have been successfully completed on Naltrexone for opiate dependence, and it is going through the process for FDA approval.

So far it appears that Alkermes has produced a drug that passes all trial phases to the point that it should be approved.  But we will not pre-determine the outcome at this time.  While remaining prudent until final FDA approval comes, the potential for this type of medication assisted treatment provides us an opportunity to discuss different scenarios where it will be of use.

Cravings are at the foundation of any addiction.  They are very strong after just one use of alcohol or a drug, leaving individuals helpless against continuing to drink or use.  But what most people don’t realize is that these cravings continue with abstinence, and are a great distraction to those early in alcohol and drug treatment.

Opiate cravings can be considered the strongest among addicts.  Even long-term recovery doesn’t make them any easier to deal with. When an individual stops use of heroin or opiate based prescription drugs the brain continues to send signals to the body that something is missing.  So when something is seen, heard, smelled, heard, felt or remembered about these drugs, along with it comes a feeling of great need or craving.

Since most discussions in drug treatment naturally revolve around drugs, cravings can distract patients from the work they are doing to recover.  Sadly, this usually concludes with one or more patients leaving treatment early, or relapsing within hours after discharging.  This is one area where opiate craving reduction would be of significance for those who suffer.

More information about cravings is in the excerpt from an article posted on the Drug Addiction Rehab website.  The full article contains a wealth of information about opiate cravings.

-- Begin external content --

 The first challenge for any addict wishing to kick his addiction is overcoming the mental and physical cravings for drugs or alcohol. Cravings are strong, uncontrollable urges to use drugs or alcohol that drive the addict to once again use addictive substances.

To get an idea of what drug cravings are like, think of a time when you went for a long time without eating a meal and you were really hungry. Hunger is a mental and physical sensation that is triggered when the body needs food for nutrients and energy. Growling stomach and shakiness due to not having eaten will become so great, making the person so uncomfortable, that they will drop whatever it is they are doing and arrange to get food and eat it. As soon as the food is consumed, the hunger pangs stop and the person feels good about satisfying their hunger. Withdrawal symptoms and cravings are caused by poor nutrition and the vitamin depletion that follows substance abuse. When a body lacks certain nutrients, it cannot make some substances it needs for health and energy, causing a person to feel tired and moody.

-- Source: http://www.drug-addiction-rehab.net/rehab-tag/opiate-metabolite/ --

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides opiate detox as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare in alcohol and drug treatment.  If you or a loved one needs help with drug addiction or alcohol dependence, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

For more information on Vivitrol, contact us via email at vivitrol@tarzanatc.org.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

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