Narcotic antagonist treatment of addict parolees-The failure of an effective approach

Thomas E. Hanlon, O. Lee McCabe, Charles Savage, Albert A. Kurland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The results of a controlled study of the contingent administration of naloxone to newly released addict parolees were viewed in relation to the goals of the narcotic antagonist approach to the treatment of addiction. Program participation and narcotic usage data on 97 addict parolees, 55 of whom were assigned to naloxone and 42 to placebo, revealed that although demonstrating a capacity to attenuate narcotic drug intake, the use of naloxone in contingent dosages ranging from 500 to 2000 mg was associated with a relatively high dropout rate during a prescribed 6-month treatment course. In view of the population and methodology employed, the unfavorable outcome result could not be regarded as discounting the potential usefulness of naloxone in other settings and under other conditions. Implications and possible causes of the findings of the study, including a surprising amount of placebo effectiveness under contingent conditions, were discussed and conclusions drawn regarding limitations of the antagonist approach for the less motivated addict.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-219
Number of pages9
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1977
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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