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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2006 Sep;31(2):107-11. Epub 2006 Aug 2.

Naltrexone for probationers and parolees.

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  • 1Treatment Research Center, University of Pennsylvania, 3900 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, 19104-6178, USA.


Heroin addiction is a chronic disorder that is usually associated with crimes aimed to obtain funds for the purchase of this illegal drug. When these addicted individuals are apprehended and incarcerated, they temporarily obtain drug-free status, but relapse quickly upon release. There is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (naltrexone) that could prevent relapse and thus break this revolving door cycle. In combination with counseling, former inmates could devote energies to legal jobs or job training instead of drug seeking. The major reasons for the nonuse of this medication appear to be lack of knowledge about the medication and fear that the use of a medication that blocks opiate receptors is somehow unethical. This special issue presents data, discussions, and suggestions regarding the ethical use of naltrexone in incarcerated populations or in those under supervision for parole or probation.

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