Strategies to improve compliance with narcotic antagonists

The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
T R Kosten, H D Kleber


The pharmacologic promise of naltrexone has not been matched by therapeutic usefulness. Plagued by difficulties in the induction period and very high dropout, the drug remains limited to a very small segment of the opiate-addited population. Some programs have managed, however, to substantially improve on these problems and such strategies will be discussed. The paper will look at the different problems raised during the high dropout periods of induction, the first month of stabilization, and the later stages of maintenance. It will then focus on methods to deal with these problems. Strategies examined will include among others individual and group counseling, family and couples' therapy, and contingency contracting. Strengths and weaknesses of each of these both from our own 7 years of experience and in the literature will be examined.


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