A clinical trial in Australia tested the claims that Naltrexone implants could last a duration of six months with low levels of side effects. This was explored in a pilot study with 13 opioid-dependent patients. Clinically, the implants appeared promising overall. Side effects were also in fact minimal. During the period with adequate plasma levels of naltrexone, the use of opioids was absent and the use of other psychoactive drugs was reduced as well.
With the study effectively demonstrating reduced relapse rates and prevention of patient mortality, the results suggest a link between the blocking of opioid receptors in our bodies and cravings towards drugs like heroin or alcohol. Additional findings in this study were high patient satisfaction with the naltrexone implant, as it produced a long duration of reduced cravings and a high level of opioid abstinence following the procedure. There were also no observations of complications in relation to the implantation.