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Comparison of Naltrexone and Placebo in Treatment of Alcohol Dependence of Adolescents

NCJ Number
Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly Volume: 21 Issue: 2 Dated: 2003 Pages: 87-95
Helmut Niederhofer; Wolfgang Staffen; Alois Mair
Date Published
9 pages
This study examined the effectiveness and long-term safety of naltrexone in the treatment of alcoholism in adolescents.
Given the fact that about 50 percent of alcoholic patients relapse within 3 months of completing alcoholism treatment programs, finding a safe and effective treatment to help with the craving for alcohol would be beneficial to patients. In this study, 30 patients between the ages of 15 to 19 years took part in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. The patients, who suffered from chronic or episodic alcohol dependence were randomly assigned to treatment with naltrexone or placebo for 90 days. Patients were assessed on the first day of treatment and then again at days 30 and 90 through interviews, self-report, questionnaire, and laboratory screening. Upon completion of the 90 day test period, 20 of the naltrexone patients and 10 of the placebo patients remained abstinent from alcohol use. The authors concluded that naltrexone is a safe and effective pharmacological treatment that may be used in adjunct with psychosocial and behavioral treatment programs for alcohol dependence in adolescents. References