Objective: The objective of this article is to review the use of the opiate antagonist naltrexone as an alternative to opiate agonist maintenance in the treatment of opiate addiction.
Method: An extensive literature search, via Medline, Biosis, Psycinfo and other databases was carried out.
Results: Naltrexone has been used in the treatment of opiate addicts in a variety of settings. A number of methods of induction onto naltrexone of recently abstinent addicts have been used in different settings. Naltrexone has had a wide range of outcome success with different populations and associated treatment regimes.
Conclusions: The benefits of naltrexone can be compared with alternatives such as methadone maintenance and therapeutic communities. Naltrexone can be made more effective in the general population of opiate addicts with the use of adjunctive therapies.