At Denali Healthcare we recognize that addiction is a treatable illness, not a character flaw. Many of the patients we treat started with the medical treatment of painful conditions, and their pain management simply got out of control. Others used alcohol or medications as a coping mechanism for stresses in their lives, a coping mechanism that caused more problems than it solved. Others made bad recreational decisions that took control of their lives. Denali is here to help all those suffering from addiction to reclaim their families, employment and lives.
Vivitrol is one of the newest medications available that can treat both opiate addiction and alcoholism. It blocks other opioids from acting on the receptors in the brain and can also help ease drug cravings. By blocking the effects of other opioids it takes away the pleasurable effect, which can aid in preventing relapse.
Although it is not fully understood as to why an opioid antagonist works in treating alcoholism, it is believed that Vivitrol blocks the pleasurable effects of alcohol by blocking the release of endorphins released by alcohol. This treatment can help you stop misusing opioids and alcohol and when combined with counseling, can help you rebuild your life.
Vivitrol is a once a month injection. There is also an oral form (naltrexone) for use in both alcoholism and narcotic addiction, but Denali only uses the injectable form.
Acamprosate has been used in Europe for the treatment of alcohol dependency since 1989. In 2004 it became the third drug to receive approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for this indication, following disulfiram (Antabuse) and Vivitrol. Acamprosate is a structural analogue of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). It is thought to decrease alcohol intake by affecting calcium channels and modifying transmission along GABA and glutamine pathways in the brain, which may result in decreased positive reinforcement of alcohol intake and decreased withdrawal cravings. However, the exact mechanism of action of acamprosate is unknown.
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Denali Healthcare is NOT offering Suboxone Therapy at this time, we will leave the information about our Suboxone Program up for patient information purposes only.
Suboxone occupies the narcotic receptors but doesn’t do much for pain or euphoria. It allows us to concentrate on getting the total number of receptors down to normal over a period of a few months or a year. We concentrate on withdrawing a little at a time, no more than the patient can tolerate, and they don’t get a ‘reward’ for taking the drug- other than they are not punished for NOT taking it.
The number of receptors took months to build up to the level needed to become tolerant and it will take months for them to drift back to normal. But the key to the program is to always move forward, one step, one reduction in dose at a time. Denali does not use suboxone for maintenance therapy, the goal is to wean patients off all narcotics, including suboxone.