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SAMHSA releases guide to use of injectable naltrexone

January 8, 2015
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA's) new guide to professionals on the use of injectable naltrexone to treat opioid dependence includes advice on the timing of treatment initiation and discontinuation.

Clinical Use of Extended-Release Injectable Naltrexone in the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder: A Brief Guide is based on a review of evidence related to medication-assisted treatment for opioid dependence, including a comparison of the properties of injectable naltrexone (marketed as Vivitrol), methadone and buprenorphine.

A Jan. 7 news bulletin from SAMHSA states, “These new medications can help fill the unmet need for treatment through the largely untapped resource of primary care clinicians. Many studies show that treatment of an opioid use disorder can be successfully integrated into general office practice by physicians and healthcare providers who are not addiction specialists.”

The guide also addresses topics such as assessing the patient's need for treatment, monitoring progress in treatment, and adjusting treatment plans.

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