Naltrexone, a potent opioid antagonist works by blocking the effects , and therefore euphoria and central nervous system depression, of opioids including heroin, morphine and methadone. While the use of oral naltrexone tablets has been approved in Australia for the treatment of opioid dependance, the use of depo and implant naltrexone has yet to be approved by the Australian Governments health product regulatory agency the TGA.
Even though these implantable preparations are only officially approved for use in the treatment of opioid dependance in Russia, this has not stopped them being used by a handful of treatment providers in Australia over the past 10 years.
The interest in naltrexone implants has been consitent over the years, however very little independant and robust research has been undertaken in the Australian context. While most professionals agree that naltrexone and naltrexone implants may have a place in the variety of treatment choices available for people with opioid dependance, most disagree with the current unregulated and haphazard way they are currently utilised. This has again been brought into the spotlight in October 2012 by a NSW Coronial Inquiry into the deaths of three people after being treated with Naltrexone Implants at a well known NSW treatment clinic.
The following reports, position papers, articles and submission show the wide ranging views about the use of Naltrexone Implants and the potential positive and negative outcomes.
For further information regarding AIVL’s work in this area please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- AIVL Public Statement on Continued Use of Naltrexone Implants – October 2012 (PDF, 48Kb)
- 2012 NSW Coronial Inquest Into the deaths of 3 People – NSW State Coroner (PDF, 542Kb)
- Adam Harvey, Drug Treatment Deaths Raise Detox Questions – ABC 7:30 Report (Video and Transcript)
- Deborah Snow, A Dangerous Method with Tragic Consequences – Sydney Morning Herald
- Adam Harvey, Questions Raised over Wider Naltrexone Use – ABC News
- Deborah Snow & Anna Patty, Nile Wants Funding for Heroin Cure – Sydney Morning Herald
- AAP, Heroin Addiction Cure Could have NSW Trial – News.com.au
- Deborah Snow, Detox Clinic Reignites Implant Debate, Sydney Morning Herald
- WASUA Complaint to The Medical Board of Western Australia regarding WA Based Naltrexone Clinic (PDF, 1.1Mb)
- DoHA, Clinical Guidelines and Procedures for the Use of Naltrexone in the Management of Opioid Dependence (PDF, 297Kb)