Drug addiction is a complex multifactorial disease. Regular long – term drug abuse undoubtedly results in deleterious changes in chemical and neurophysiological status of human brain.
These changes explain such features of drug addiction as growing tolerance (need to increase dose of the drug continuously to achieve the desirable effect), syndrome of altered reactivity (when over the time the action of the drug becomes inconsistent and unpredictable) syndrome of physical and psychological dependence (inability of the body to function normally at the absence of the drug).
Drugs severely deform body, mind and personality of a drug user. It looks as follows.
Soon after start using the drug systematically dramatic transformations in mind and body of a drug user happen. These changes are familiar to every addict. They reflect a shape of a new system functioning. All physiological, biological and psychological processes in a drug user body are getting subjected to the drug. Without presence of narcotic people can not eat, sleep, sex, work normally. The absence of the drug (so called drug hunger) is perceived by the body as a stress and all efforts, actions of a drug addict are concentrated on the search of a substance to eliminate its deficit. After consuming the dope the drug hunger subsides for a while, and the person is able to stay for few hours in normal state. Again person becomes able to eat, to sleep, may be even to have sex, or to be focused on doing something. But most likely that all these normal things, daily responsibilities, duties are no longer so important for him. The poor often is just resting before the internal alarm will turn on again indicating the fall of drug concentration.
Distorted metabolism, taste deviations, digestion problems, depressed immunity, broken teeth, poor skin, internal organs disorders are all the physical sings of a disease.
Besides, there are profound changes in mental condition. One of the first signs of mental instability presented of all drug addicts is a symptom of sleep disturbance. Normal biological rhythms of the brain are violated by the drug. Structure, duration and quality of sleep are distorted and, as a result, the brain is unable to properly rest, to relax. The patients on high doses of the drug are quite aware of the situation when they take a dose in advance in hope to have a proper sleep, but still they wake up earlier broken and frustrated. Anxiety, impulsivity, outbursts of aggression and periods of depression, suicides thoughts are the result of drug interference into sphere of emotions.
Well, the third component of clinical picture of drug addiction is psychological. Diminished life value system and weakened inner rules of self-control are common signs. The drug addict stops planning his life for long period, he lives only by current day. Necessity of constant search for the drug makes him dodge, deceitful, manipulative. No one better than a drug addict is able to induce compassion and pity for him. Quick mental fatigue does not let him to get focused at work. He becomes tired quickly, idle. Every moment he is trying to find any excuses to avoid his professional and domestic responsibilities. Emotional degradation, coarsening leads him to regular conflicts within family. Eventually the drug addict becomes an outcast.
Lack of survival instinct, reduced internal safe-keeping mechanisms, underestimation of the situation, low support from family are the factors which inevitably lead the drug addict to social degradation and isolation, to continuous conflicts with a law, to numerous concomitant diseases, to frequent accidents and overdoses which often end up in death.
So how can we stop this agony?
Who or what can help us to find the right solution, to find the way out of this deadly situation? Naltrexone treatment? Methadone therapy? Buprenorphine?
There is a solution. First of all you have to know that drug addiction is a curable disease. And there are plenty of examples for that claim. It is not rare when a seemingly washed-up drug addict after 10-15-20 years of continuous drug abuse with help of properly selected treatment stops using drugs and never comes back to them. These facts suggest that the DRUG FREE LIFE is possible at any stage of addiction, and there are no biological constraints to abstain narcotics for good.
In order to obtain positive long-term reliable result, but not just another disappointment, you have to start with a plan and proper organization of your future recovery. Before enter the drug addiction treatment you have to understand clear that no one alone is able to pull himself out of the mire of a drug addiction. All your knowledge of pharmacotherapy, the best advices of your experienced friends or attempts to go somewhere for couple of weeks to undergo cold turkey can bring only a temporary relief at best.
What you have to do first is to inform your relatives or people close to you about your firm intention to kick off the drugs. These people are your main support. Then you have to see a specialist in addiction medicine to assess the situation and elaborate an individual treatment plan.
As it was said before drug addiction is a multifactorial disease. Therefore naltrexone rehabilitation treatment must be comprehensive.
The process of recovery consists of several sequent stages. The first one is detoxification. The task of detoxification is to cleanse the body out of the drugs and let the patient to pass through withdrawal (set of symptoms which characterize physical dependence) in a most painless way. Due to its complexity, good quality drug detox can be done only under qualified medical supervision. Detoxification is a preliminary and mandatory stage. It is half the battle for successful recovery.
Special treatment techniques and psychological rehabilitation programs are needed to cure such mental dysfunctions featured psychological dependence as craving, depression, mood swings, sleeping disorders.
Quite often pharmacological protection (blockade) by opiate antagonists alone or in combination with a long -term isolation provides the most effective cure for many patients.
Professional help from the specialists in drug addiction medicine, psychologists, psychotherapists, group therapy, family support are the key factors to help the drug addicts to change their habits, lifestyle, the regain their ability to resist to their seemingly irresistible compulsion for drugs.
Without accomplishment of all these obligatory conditions the chance to come off the drugs looks very unlikely.
How naltrexone implant therapy can help?
Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist. Due to it nature it blocks the opiate receptors and by this way prohibits the use of drugs. In other words it is antinarcotic. Naltrexone is be a good support for motivated patients. Naltrexone treatment is a highly promising pharmacological rehabilitation for endogenous opioid structures of human brain. At the moment Naltrexone is the best pharmacological protection against drugs.
Naltrexone has also been shown effective in managment for alcoholism, gambling and some other types of behavioral addictions. This universal property of Naltrexone indicates its ability to interfere into underlying mechanisms that are common to all types of addiction.
Naltrexone implants are the most effective form of therapy by opiod antagonists nowadays. Implanted pellet ensuring a continuous level of Naltrexone in a body for long period is a method of choice for the patients who have a problem with treatment compliance.
Emerged since the early 90s the implants have significantly improved and now so-called third generation of implants is available. They are characterized by better consistent release of depot naltrexone, by higher level of protection and by lower frequency of rejections and allergic reactions. The use of polymer matrices has allowed to create implants that work up to 6 and 12 months. Implants are currently produced in the U.S., Hong Kong, UK, Australia, Holland, Japan. In the U.S. the use of depot injection of naltrexone VIVITROL is officially approved by FDA. The use of naltrexone implants, issued patents, is possible through the passage of a special application procedure. In Russia Naltrexon 3 -month implant is officially approved for use and available under the trademark Prodetoxon. In Australia more than 10,000 people received implant treatment over the past 5 years.