Naltrexone Compressed Opiate Detoxification
NCOD – naltrexone compressed opiate detoxification is a new and literature-based way to detoxify completely from opiates over 8-14 days without the use of Suboxone/buprenorphine. This method of medical detoxification is specifically indicated for people who have been chronically relapsing on heroin and other opiates, often despite access to Suboxone or methadone treatment. Our treatment goal is to help patients maintain their recovery through the use of vivitrol- a once-a-month, injectable opiate antagonist. This medication blocks the ability to relapse on opiates for 30 days.
The challenge for opiate addicted individuals (particularly IV opiates) is confronting the depth of the biological programming in the brain for “reward”. We refer to the meaning and context of craving for drugs with the term “salience”. Most IV opiate addicted patients are challenged to contemplate a life without ever using heroin again due to the nature of salience for opiates. Our clinical experience has shown that 90% of our IV addicted individuals who use Suboxone therapy relapse on IV opiates at some point. Most patients report that they will relapse given the opportunity, simply related to the depth of the salience for IV opiates.
Prior to NCOD, most patients who “relapsed through Suboxone” were referred to methadone therapy. Some patients would elect a challenging detoxification to start Vivitrol therapy. Our NCOD protocol has revolutionized the medical detoxification experience for our patients and allowed those patients with commercial insurance to “land” on Vivitrol therapy. This medication is a once-a-month injectable which suppresses craving, changes salience and blocks the ability to use IV opiates.
Vivitrol is not just for IV opiate addicted patients. Our goal is to medically detoxify all of our opiate addicted patients and land each patient on antagonist therapy as indicated by the FDA, NIDA and SAMHSA, for a period of 12-24 months to help heal the brain and prevent relapse.
View the NCOD patient interview video (7:27):