The British Journal of Psychiatry
Opioid withdrawal and naltrexone induction in 48-72 hours with minimal drop-out, using a modification of the naltrexone-clonidine technique.
C Brewer, H Rezae, C Bailey

Abstract

Using clonidine, naltrexone, and diazepam, 60 withdrawals from heroin and other opioids involving 56 addicts were carried out with only one patient dropping out. In the last 23 cases, we used a modification of the standard technique, giving significantly higher doses of naltrexone and clonidine on the first day. This significantly reduced the average withdrawal time from 3.30 days to 2.32 days, despite lower clonidine dosage and significantly lower diazepam dosage on the second day. The speed, effectiveness, economy, and high acceptability of this withdrawal technique have implications for both private and state-funded treatment programmes.