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This page abstract: Naltrexone (Revia, Trexan) is a medicine used against drug addiction, alcoholism and self-harm.

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Medication/Drugs to Stop/Fight Drug Addiction, Heroin Addiction, Cocaine Addiction, Alcoholism and Self-Harm Behavior

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Question(s):
Written by: Martin Winkler
First version: 22 Jul 2008. Latest revision: 10 Oct 2013.
What is Naltrexone (Revia, Trexan)? Does it help and can it be used to fight alcoholism, abuse of heroin and cocaine and drug addiction? What kind of medication could stop self-harm behavior (cutting arms)? What drug could stop dissociation? Drugs used to fight cocaine addiction?

Answer:

The opiat antagonist Naltrexone is usually a treatment for opiate-intoxication. Some studies showed additional use for other types of drug addiction recovery including alcoholism and cocaine. Buprenorphine may however be more effective against cocaine addiction.

But recent research showed some promissing effects for patients with self-injurious behavior (SIB) and dissociative symptoms of trauma (PTSD) or borderline personality disorder (BPD). This might be a medical option for patients with different kinds of self-harm behavior (including cutting, self-biting or self-hitting/slapping) and could also be a possible treatment approach for mentally retarded young patients with SIB.

Trials of patients with gambling addiction indicates that Naltrexone can be a help with gambling addicion, usually in combination with SSRI drugs and psychotherapy.

Researchers in Germany made a study of female patients with Borderline personality disorder with dissociative symptoms. The patients received 25 to 100 mg naltrexone four times a day for at least 2 weeks. Results of self-rated questionaire for dissociation (DAISS) showed a significant reduction of the symptoms, indluding flashbacks and self-harm. The authors presented the hypothesis that an increased activity of the opioid system contributes to dissociative symptoms of these patients.

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