Naloxone for Opioid Addiction – Is it worth it?

Naloxone for Opioid Addiction – Is it worth it?

Everyone looking for drug rehab – from drug rehab in London to rehab in Birmingham – everyone will be tempted by the path of least resistance. As an addict, or former addict getting off drugs, it is too easy to go back to our former habits and give in to the patterns we know are harmful to us. In fact; your body, your mind, and your emotions will all be convincing you that returning to those habits is exactly the right thing to do… It isn’t…

Enter Naloxone; one of many drugs tried and tested with the intention of making the symptoms of substance abuse easier to cope with. Not only does Naloxone treat the symptoms of substance abuse in rehab, it also targets any remaining drug molecules that are in your system. Naloxone helps you affect a ‘cold turkey’ approach. This might seem like the easy option but it is far from it.

We took a more in-depth look at Naloxone to find out what it is, what it does, and whether or not it can help you beat mephedrone or heroin addiction.

What is Naloxone?


Naloxone is one of a number of drugs that are known as opioid antagonists. We cover this more extensively on another page, here. In the meantime, the shortened version of what an opioid antagonist does is that they block one or all of the three main opioid receptors in the human brain. When the receptors are blocked they are unable to produce the pain/reward influence they have previously had.

An opioid antagonist also has the ability to seek out and destroy any traces of the drug that remain in your system. While this sounds like a good idea – opioid addiction, which includes heroin addiction, methadone addiction, and even addictions to prescription painkillers, is a physical addiction. This means that over time the addiction has chemically altered the make-up of the user’s body. Destroying all of the drug particles at once leads to a cold turkey effect that produces vast amounts of systemic shock.

Too much of this seeming wonder drug and you may get some pretty awful side effects. If you need help with heroin addiction we can direct you to the right places. Call us today on 0203 955 7700 or browse our pages for more information.

The Side Effects of Naloxone


Naloxone is most often injected when heroin or opioid users are in the throes of an overdose. There are a few side effects that are only to be expected from such a strong medication. Keep in mind that when this particular drug for substance abuse is administered it is done so at crucial moments. If a heroin addict can be found and brought to hospital in time then it may potentially save their lives. This makes the side effects seem a little paltry by comparison.

Some of the known side effects of Naloxone are:

  • Dizziness and nausea, possibly accompanied by vomiting.
  • Nervousness, anxiety, muscle spasms and tremors as the medication takes hold on the substance.
  • Irritability, a racing heart, high or low blood pressure, and hyperhidrosis.

These are all considered normal. When the opioids leave your system quickly this type of UK rehab is bound to produce visible effects on the body. While the above side effects are mild, some of the rarer ones are as follows:

  • Temporary redness in the face and neck, combined with symptoms of a ‘come down’.
  • Agitation and possible hallucinations.
  • Fluid in the lungs, seizures, trouble breathing and lack of oxygen in the organs, tissues, or blood.
  • A rapid heartbeat, a heart rhythm disorder known as ventricular fibrillation, or the complete shutdown of your heart.

So as you can see; although Naloxone might be able to solve your heroin overdoses, it cannot be used to stop your addiction. Unfortunately, this is another wonder drug that won’t work if you don’t have willpower.

What is Naloxone Used For?


Unlike other opioid antagonist medication that will work to prevent the body absorbing any more opioids, Naloxone should only be used in emergency situations. It is administered in the case of Heroin overdose or opioid overdose, and will work to eradicate the opioids from the system. It is only a temporary drug and will wear off after a maximum of two hours.

It is most often used to save a life.

The Pros of using Naloxone for Drug Addictions


Naloxone has the capacity to save a life when the subject has taken too much of an opioid. It removes all trace of the drug from the system and makes the user instantly sober.

The Cons of using Naloxone for Heroin Addictions


The speed with which Naloxone works can cause massive stress on the internal organs, to the point that heart failure is a real possibility. We cannot tell you that the best way to deal with heroin or opioids is simply not to take them in the first place; but we can tell you that Naloxone is not the answer.

If you do need help then we are able to provide serious relief that can get you off drugs for good. Whether you need drug rehab in Swindon or whether you just want to know how much drug rehab costs in the UK – we can help. Call us today for free advice and guidance. Pick up the phone and catch us on 0203 955 7700. If you are uncomfortable talking about it then you can find more help for drug addictions nestled in our pages.

Naloxone: Speedy Sobriety or another Dependency?


When it comes to treating drug withdrawal symptoms, naloxone won’t help. It also won’t do anything to prevent the user from taking again in the future. All it will do, in fact, is to flush the existing drugs out of a user’s body. This means they are clean and sober – but this does not mean that their addiction has been cured.

What we do like about this particular treatment for opioid addiction is that it is non-addictive. Unlike other substances which will help wean you off the heroin (such as methadone), it won’t leave you battling a further addiction. That being said, Naloxone is for emergency use only and should never be used as a last resort to save you from addiction. After all, imagine they didn’t get to administer it in time? Death would be a real possibility.


If you need help with heroin addiction we can direct you to the right places. Call us today on 0203 955 7700 or browse our pages for more information.

Dipesh / 15th November 2019/ Posted in: Latest News


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    Detoxification (detox) is the medical intervention required for someone who is physically dependent to drugs or alcohol. If required, medical detoxification would be the first step taken in residential rehab. Detox is used to prevent uncomfortable and dangerous (even fatal) withdrawals symptoms resulting in suddenly becoming abstinent from alcohol/certain drugs.

    The goal of a medical detox is to aid in the physical healing required following long term addiction and rid the body of all together of substance whilst providing a cushion for unpleasant symptoms of withdrawals. Detox is not considered the whole treatment for drug/alcohol addiction and it is always recommended that a comprehensive rehabilitation program is used along side to help maintain long term abstinence.

    Medication is often required for alcohol detox. If you are dependent on alcohol and experiencing withdrawal symptoms it is vitally important to seek medical advice prior to stopping. There is a long list of medications used when treating alcohol addiction and the exact medication given to an individual will depend on their needs/medical history. Some of these include;

    • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
    • Lorazepam (Ativan)
    • Diazapam (vailium)

    Librium and Valium are the most commonly used detox medication in the UK. All medication used to help with alcohol detox have been proven to help reduce the effects of withdrawal symptoms.

    There are also a number of drugs recombined by the NHS to help treat alcohol misuse. Some of these include:

    • Naltrexone
    • Disulfiram (Antabuse)
    • Nalmefene
    • Acamprosate (campral)

    Medication is always required for heroin detox. For someone suffering from heroin addiction, the thought of detoxification (detox) can be exceptionally daunting. Withdrawal symptoms from opiates, such as heroin, can be severe and include pain, vomiting, nausea and shaking.

    There are different ways that heroin detox can be carried out, most usually either ‘maintenance therapy’ or ‘full medical detox’.

    Attempting to switch from heroin to a heroin substitute, usually on a controlled prescription, is known as Maintenance therapy. Subsites used are most often methadone or buprenorphine.

    A full medical detox from heroin will always be carried out in a residential rehab setting and will allow the individual to switch form heroin to a substitute and slowly withdraw completing treatment free of all substances. Someone using a heroin substitute can choose to have a full medical detox at any time, however detoxing substances such a methadone can often add to the length of detox required. Drugs most commonly used to fully detox from heroin are, Subutex, Suboxone and Methadone. Much like alcohol, the exact drugs used will be dependent on the individuals needs/medical history.

    Once detoxed from heroin the risk of overdose is much higher following relapse due to tolerance following withdrawal.

    The length of treatment in a residential rehab depends on a number of elements. Some substances require longer periods of detox than others.

    Private paying patients will also often choose a length of stay that suites their therapeutic and financial needs. As a rule, a full treatment program in a rehab is considered to be 28 days (often referred to as a month), however, treatment is offered in several different ways and lengths starting at 7 days.

    Treating alcohol addiction will always require a minimum of 7-10 days, this would be considered the detoxification (detox) faze. The length required for treating drug addiction can vary drastically depending on the substance being used. Detox for Heroin addiction is generally around 14 days minimum, with more time required if substances such a methadone are being used. Treating prescription drug addiction can often take the longest. The time required for treating gambling addiction, eating disorders and sex addiction will be based on the individuals needs.

    Rehab programs can be as long as an individual requires but primary treatment is normally caped at 12 weeks, with the offering for further secondary and tertiary treatment thereafter.

    *based on average rehab stays, everyone will vary dependant on needs and medical requirement/history.

    There is no need for your employer to know that you are seeking help for trauma and addiction unless you choose to involve them with the process. All employers should have a policy that explains what you do if you cannot come to work due to illness – illness to include treating alcohol addiction/treating drug addiction.

    If your work absence extends over 7 days your employer is likely to require an official statement of fitness to work which would be obtained from your GP. This would need to supply evidence of your illness as well as any adjustments required for returning to work, fazed return or reduced hours, but does not need to specify in detail the reason why you have been absent.

    If you are absent from work for 7 days of less, for example entering rehab for a detoxification (detox) on a Saturday for 7-10 days taking a full week away from work, you can self-certify your illness by letting your employer work you will not be attending work for that period of time. Exactly how an individual would do this would be dependent on a specific companies’ policies on taking sick leave.

    Any time longer than 7 days it is likely an employer will require a note from the individuals GP certifying their sickness and a fit note on return. Most companies have a clearly outlined policy on sickness and receiving sick pay so the exact requirement can vary. A rehab will always be willing to advise on time off work.

    How much does rehab cost is a very frequently asked question. The cost of treatment can range from £1,000 per week upwards depending on the place, with luxury rehab being the most expensive.

    There are free options available on the NHS but the waitlist of those looking for free treatment is longer than that for privately paying patients. Some private health insurance policies will cover treatment in some rehabs around the country.

    Choosing the right rehab centre will often be based on priced but it is important to follow guidance on the most suitable treatment centre for an individual’s needs which our expert team of advisers are on hand to offer.

    There are certainly pro’s for both treatment near by and traveling for treatment with one of the most asked question being should I get rehab near me? There are rehabs all over the UK and around the world that all offer expert programs, let’s look at how to choose a rehab.

    Local treatment

    Being close to home gives certainly has benefits. Visitors are normally permitted in rehab following the first 7 days stay, therefore if an individual is in treatment for a length of time longer than that being local will make it easier for loved ones to visit.

    Most rehab centres will also provide a full aftercare plan for someone following treatment, this will include ongoing aftercare in the specific treatment centre. Living close by can make it easy to take full advantage of ongoing aftercare. There can also often be the option for ongoing care with an individual therapist, again being close by will allow that treatment to be carried out face to face.

    Some individuals wish to be local but are willing to look broader, for instance the greater city of residence (London, Manchester, Liverpool, etc)

    Treatment Away

    Getting treatment away from home can be very appealing to some. Being out of the local area makes it a lot harder to just walk out of treatment as resources locally are unknown. Some also take comfort in knowing that they are not near home and focus more on treatment.

    As the price for treatment can vary so much from one residential treatment centre to another, private paying patients often would rather travel to keep the cost down. Those using private health insurance may also have to travel to find a treatment centre covered in their policy.

    When opting for treatment away from home this can be anywhere in the UK and also abroad. Aftercare can still be carried out and very successful using tools such as The Online Rehab.

    There is no right or wrong when choosing where to go to residential rehab, but our expert advisors are always on hand to help provide information on all possible options.

    Whilst millions of people in the UK have taken recreational drugs (amphetamine, cannabis, cocaine, crack, crystal meth, GHB, heron, ketamine, methadone, and prescription drugs) and drank alcohol not all become ‘addicted’. Most recent reports show that 279,793 individuals were in contact with drug and alcohol misuse services in the last year with over half of that being from opiate addiction and a quarter for alcohol.

    There are several risk factors invoiced in addiction and those using drugs and alcohol socially, simply take the risk. These risks are as follows;

    Tolerance – basically, if a substance is used repeatedly an individual’s tolerance to it will build. This will result in more of the same substance being required to get the same effect. In the long run this can easily lead to addiction and physical dependencies.

    Environmental risks – these can include influences such a peer pressure and stress as well as physical or mental abuse of an individual (particularly as a child). Overall, those who live with frequent pressures and stress are more likely to reach for a substance to cope and are therefore at higher risk of becoming addicted.

    Drug type – it is very well known that certain drugs are simply more addictive than others. Using substances such as heroin increases the risk of becoming addicted for need to ‘chase’ a high as well as physical dependency.

    Drug administration – how a drug is administered can affect its addictive qualities. A drug injected rather than smoked or snorted will release a quicker and more intense high thus making it psychologically (and in many cases physically) more addictive.

    Biological factors – it is now widely reported that being an addict is not only psychological but also biological. This includes your genetic makeup, mental health, sex and age. It is also reported to be 8 times more likely for the child of an addict to become an addict themselves.

    Its believed that addiction is approximately half genetics and therefore some are 50% more likely to become addicted than others.

    How do you help a loved one trapped in addiction?

    The first step is to help and encourage the individual to become willing to accept help. They do not need to be shouting this off the rooftops, but they do need to be willing to go into treatment. There are ways to help someone become willing to get treatment for alcohol or treatment for drugs.

    Set boundaries – set boundaries and stick to them. Once you have laid them out follow through with whatever consequences you have set however hard it is.

    Stop finances – if you are financially supporting someone stopping these finances can be the quickest way for the addict needing to ask for help. With no money to acquire a substance an addict’s options become very limited.

    Intervention – getting together with other family members/friends/colleagues and staging an intervention is often very successful in the fist stage of acceptance and gaining an admission to residential rehab.

    You can’t make them quit, this can lead to dangerous withdrawal. Boundaries are very important in helping someone become willing to get help. Unfortunately you cannot do someone’s recovery for them and without self-motivation it is very hard to make it work.

    The next step is to call our highly trained advisers 0203 955 7700.

    There is a huge range of rehab options available and where to start can be completely over whelming so let us help.