This study will evaluate the effectiveness of the medication naltrexone (Revia) for treating
alcoholism. Individuals will be inpatients for a 2 week period and provide assessments of
their alcohol withdrawal symptoms, craving, and mood. Following hospital discharge,
individuals will be assigned randomly to receive naltrexone daily, naltrexone twice a day or
a placebo. This part of the study will last 12 weeks, with regular measurements of drinking
level, craving and mood. Assessments will be conducted 6 and 12 months after the beginning
of the study.
- Meets criteria for alcohol dependence.
- Committed to alcohol abstinence as a treatment goal.
- Individuals will be required to identify two family members or close friends who are
knowledgeable about their location, drinking behavior, and psychosocial status.
- Meets criteria for any other psychoactive substance use disorder (excluding nicotine
- Meets criteria for a major psychiatric disorder and are in need of or currently
- Females who are pregnant, lactating, or not using a reliable method of contraception.
- Currently experiencing a serious medical condition that would place them at risk or
interfere with study participation.
- Experiencing acute hepatitis or liver failure or whose liver function test is more
than 3 times normal.
- Have a history of severe allergies, multiple adverse drug reactions or known allergy
- Vocabulary below the 5th grade reading level.
- Abnormal MRI scan.
- HIV infection due to the neurological sequelae.
- Significant central nervous system diseases.
- Seizure disorder or history of closed head trauma.
- Neuroendocrine disorders.
- Treatment with opiates within the last six months.