Addiction and overdose are two of the most concerning consequences of the opioid epidemic. While addiction can take multiple uses to form, overdoses can occur the first time someone abuses opioids. Overdoses can also result from long-term addiction, as many people may seek increasingly high doses to get high. Experts continue to develop medications and treatments for substance abuse, including Naloxone and Naltrexone.
Struggling with opioid addiction can be isolating and dangerous. Even after getting sober, there are new challenges to face daily. Without the skills and support to lead a sober life, the chances of relapsing remain high. At Northpoint Seattle, we know how important it is to receive the substance abuse treatment you need on your schedule. With partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs, you can begin to reclaim your normal routine while receiving help. Call 425.414.3530 to get started.
What Is Naloxone?
Naloxone is a medication that can treat an opioid overdose in its early stages. It works by blocking the effects of opioids on the brain, which can help reverse the respiratory depression that can occur with an overdose.
The medication is safe and effective, but it is not a cure for addiction. It is essential to seek medical help after administering naloxone, as the person may still need further treatment. Naloxone can also be a preventative measure for people at risk of overdosing.
What Is Naltrexone?
Naltrexone is a medication that can treat both addiction and overdose. It also works by blocking the effects of opioids on the brain, which can help to reduce cravings and prevent overdoses.
Recovery specialists and other healthcare professionals often rely on naltrexone to help people in early recovery, as it can provide a safety net against relapse. Naltrexone can also work as a maintenance medication for people who have been sober for some time.
The Uses of Naloxone vs. Naltrexone
While there are similarities between the two drugs, they often have significantly different uses.
Naloxone is most often used in emergencies to reverse the effects of an overdose. Trained medical professionals or laypeople can administer it, and it is available as a nasal spray or injectable.
Naltrexone is most often a part of a treatment plan for addiction. Trained medical professionals or laypeople can administer it, and it is available as an oral pill or injectable.
Obtaining Naloxone and Naltrexone
These lifesaving medications are available to people who struggle with addiction. Many states and countries have made efforts to make naloxone more accessible, and it is often available without a prescription. This accessibility is so crucial because of the high fatality rates of opioid overdoses, including those caused by heroin.
Naltrexone is often only available with a prescription, as it is not considered as immediately life-saving as naloxone. For people struggling with addiction and are interested in using naltrexone as part of their treatment, speaking with a medical professional is the best way to obtain the medication.
Side Effects of Naloxone and Naltrexone
Experts consider both medications safe and effective, but they can have some side effects.
Side effects of both medications can include:
- Increased heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Muscle weakness
Substance Abuse Treatment at Northpoint Seattle
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, don’t wait to get help. Even with lifesaving medications to reverse overdoses, opioid addiction can cause severe damage to a person’s life.
At Northpoint Seattle, our comprehensive treatment programs can provide you with the tools and support you need to achieve sobriety. Focusing on evidence-based practices and a customized approach, we will create a treatment plan that meets your unique needs. Call 425.414.3530 today to start on the road to recovery.