Integrating Naltrexone Treatment, Alcoholics Anonymous Facilitation and the OPRM1 Polymorphism in the Treatment of Alcohol Dependent Outcomes

Walitzer | Blanco | Stewart | Swiatek
Researchers will study the effectiveness of an alcohol treatment program which combines the medication Naltrexone with behavioral counseling and participation in mutual-help organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous.

To test effective treatments for long-term sobriety, participants will be treated with a 90-day course of daily oral tablet Naltrexone, an FDA-approved opioid antagonist that helps to reduce craving for and pleasurable effects from alcohol. Patients will be genotyped to determine presence of the G-allele in the OPRM1 gene, which is associated with greater effects of alcohol consumption, as well as better outcome when treated with Naltrexone. In addition, participants will take part in a weekly, empirically validated counseling program focused on behavioral abstinence skills, along with an introduction to Alcoholics Anonymous and other mutual-help supports. Participants also will meet monthly with medical staff (medical doctor, pharmacist and nurse practitioner) while on Naltrexone to assess medication compliance.

Principal Investigator
Kimberly S. Walitzer, PhD
Research Institute on Addictions

Javier G. Blanco, PhD
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
University at Buffalo

Scott Stewart, MD
Department of Medicine
University at Buffalo

Denise Swiatek, PharmD
Research Pharmacy
University at Buffalo

Funding Agency
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)

Grant Number
Pilot Study