Contingent naloxone treatment of the narcotic addict: A pilot study

Albert A. Kurland, Lee McCabe, Thomas Hanlon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In a community-based abstinence program, 108 chronic heroin abusers, paroled from Maryland correctional institutions, were administered the narcotic antagonist, naloxone, in escalating 500 mg dosages to a daily maximum dosage of 2,000 mg when either urine analysis indicated narcotic drug use or unexcused absences led to the suspicion of narcotic intake. Dosage was then continued at the maximum level until the record again indicated abstinence. This approach was regarded as such a distinct departure from customary antagonist administration that a pilot investigation of its effectiveness was undertaken. Six month outcome data on all patients were contrasted with those of an historical comparison group previously treated in the same clinic without naloxone administration. Both groups were equivalent on all criminal history, demographic, and prognostic variables. The group receiving contingent naloxone administration showed a significantly lower institutionalization rate (8%) than that for the reference sample (37%). Complete abstinence rates were also in favor of the naloxone group (38 vs. 12%).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-142
Number of pages12
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1976
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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