Naltrexone for Gambling Addiction

Apr 26, 2024

Gambling is often considered a fun activity that happens alone or in the company of others. Some people might get lucky and win the lottery. Sadly, others might develop a compulsive gambling habit that can turn into a full-blown gambling addiction. 

Their out-of-control habit can ruin them emotionally, financially, psychologically, socially, and spiritually. According to most studies, one percent of Americans will develop a gambling addiction. 

Treatment typically involves talk therapy and prescription medication. Medication is a helpful tool for recovery as it treats mental health problems associated with the disorder. Some studies suggest that medication used to treat substance abuse and co-occurring mental disorders might also help reduce gambling urges. 

Naltrexone is an example of one medication that’s commonly prescribed for gambling addiction. Some studies revealed positive results from this drug. If you or someone you know has a gambling addiction, you should be aware of this prescription drug. 

Naltrexone: What is it?

Naltrexone is prescribed by a medical professional. It’s not a narcotic or cure for addiction. It’s often used to treat gambling addicts who also struggle with substance abuse. 

Naltrexone is prescribed only after you’re sober from drugs. The length of treatment depends on the dosage and the amount used. As always, talk to your doctor if you experience withdrawal symptoms. 

Naltrexone can also be used to treat problem gambling and compulsive gambling. This medication is safe and effective, as it encourages people to remain sober as they recover from compulsive gambling.

This medicine is only available with a prescription and comes in capsule or tablet form. However, medication alone isn’t enough to treat your gambling addiction. 

A solid treatment plan and therapy can help you uncover the root of your problem and determine the best course of action. It’ll help keep you accountable for your recovery. 

You should never have to go through therapy alone. Treatment is most effective when it occurs within the confines of a support group, mental health office, or inpatient or outpatient treatment center. 

Studies on Naltrexone and Gambling

The University of Minnesota conducted a study on the use of prescription drugs on gambling addicts. The experiment focused on two groups: those with compulsive behaviors and those with low impulse control. 

Medications like Naltrexone had a positive impact on both groups. Other studies have shown that Naltrexone is a preferable drug treatment for gambling addiction. It can help reduce the cravings and urges associated with the behavioral disorder. 

However, there is no further research on Naltrexone used for gambling addiction treatment. Most studies only show the positive outcomes and effects used in gambling addicts. 

Does Naltrexone Cure Gambling?

Naltrexone can’t cure gambling addiction. It blocks the effects of the “high” that you get from gambling. Over time, you’ll notice that you have no desire to gamble. 

It also causes withdrawal symptoms in those with substance abuse issues. Unfortunately, there’s no prevention or cure for behavioral addictions. 

For that reason, Naltrexone should be in conjunction with psychotherapy. The most common treatment methods include group therapy, family therapy, couples counseling, and cognitive behavioral therapy. 

Birches Health offers an effective virtual treatment option from home. You’ll connect with a licensed mental health professional who addresses your particular gambling problem. 

What’s ideal about this treatment is that it can be done at home and it’s tailored to your unique situation. Book a free 100% consultation today. 

Gambling addiction overview

Gambling addiction is a behavioral disorder that impacts most parts of your life. It occurs when you lose control over your gambling habits. You struggle to overcome the urges, even if you suffered a massive financial blow or rock bottom.

You should speak with your healthcare provider or mental health professional if you notice compulsive gambling habits. Talk therapy can also be beneficial for your recovery. 

The most common signs of gambling addiction are: 

  • Preoccupation with gambling 

  • Gambling is used as an escape from feelings or daily life 

  • Repeated failed efforts to stop gambling 

  • Need to acquire massive amounts of money  

  • Rely on other people to fund gambling habit 

You might notice that you feel agitated or aggressive when you quit gambling. Or, you might continue to gamble even if it ruins your finances, work situation, and personal relationships. Fortunately, recovery from gambling addiction is possible. 

Resources:

Gambling Addiction Is Now at an All-Time High

Pathological gambling may be successfully treated with medications for substance addiction

Naltrexone (Oral Route)

Naltrexone as a treatment for pathological and problem gambling

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