Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Some patients actually cut out their own Naltrexone implant

At a recent Quality Assurance meeting, Dr Blaise Wolfrum from Chicago brought up the fact that one of his patients wanted to cut out the Naltrexone implant so he could get high again. When the patient was told that this was very dangerous, he wanted to know how long he had to wait before his implant would have worn off so he could get high.

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It is amazing to think that patients would go through a whole detox and finally be free of the withdrawal symptoms, and still be thinking seriously about taking a knife to their abdomen to cutout their implant. But the truth is that over the years we have had a number of patients who have actually done this.

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To me it shows just how powerful the disease really is. I always remember a study I saw that was done in Seattle. It showed that even with good detox and good treatment that was available, only 3% of their patients were still free of opiates after only three months.

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We need to remember that this is a serious illness that is very difficult to recover from without a lot of help. This is why we recommend the Naltrexone implants. Without this “crutch” very few people are able to remain free of their addiction. It shouldn’t surprise us that some people want to cut out their implants. Of course we always do what we can to help patients also get into counseling and support groups.

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Dr Peter Coleman

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