he has been an alcoholic for over 28 years and nothing has helped... he has been in and out of rehab. he is also bi-polar with other mental health problems and he is scared to try somthing new please help
I have only a limited knowledge of the ins and outs of naltrexone, but I'll pass on what I do know. Naltrexone is a medication that BLOCKS the effects of alcohol and opiate drugs. Serious trouble comes when the person becomes determined to gain the "high" from drinking - and thus, drinks more and more, to try to gain the full effect. (Same problem with opiates, btw.) The risk for overdose - alcohol poisoning - coma is increased, because of this behavior.
My experience with naltrexone is limited to the clients I work with in a treatment center; therefore, the option of drinking while taking it isn't a likely concern.
If I were you, I'd speak to his doctor about what he is doing, as the doctor can better advise you if he should continue to take naltrexone.
Sometimes, it takes dozens of attempts at rehab before lasting sobriety occurs. In my opinion, his best help would be in attending daily AA meetings. In the meantime, you could probably benefit tremendously from some AlAnon meetings, designed for the loved ones of alcoholics. Even if he isn't doing AA or staying sober, AlAnon would help you through the turmoil of living with an alcoholic.
I cannot find anything on the internet that says Naltrexone will make you sick if you drink on it. However, my doctor told me that it would. I drank heavily on this medication one night, woke with what seemed a normal hangover but by mid-afternoon turned into projectile vomiting, sweats, and the worst headache I've ever encountered. Every time I moved I would become nauseous. I can't recall a time that I've ever felt worse. I'm curious to see if anyone else has become violently ill when drinking on this medication. I'm able to have a moderate amount of alcohol without getting sick but I definitely learned my lesson and I won't overdo it again.
Some doctors encourage their patients to drink on this medication (Drink your way sober with Naltrexone/Sinclair Method).
- Naltrexone Information for Consumers
- Naltrexone Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Naltrexone (detailed)
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