Emergency Department Initiated Extended-Release Naltrexone and Case Management for the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder
Feasibility of Emergency Department Initiated Extended-Release Naltrexone and Case Management Services for the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder
  • Phase

    Phase 4
  • Study Type

  • Status

    Completed No Results Posted
  • Study Participants

This is a phase 4, open-label, feasibility study of extended release naltrexone (Vivitrol, Alkermes Pharmaceutical) and case management for treatment of alcohol use disorders in the ED.

Excess alcohol use is a major cause of morbidity and mortality and contributes to a large number of emergency department (ED) visits. The rate of alcohol-related ED visits is increasing, and there is evidence that this increase may be driven by a subset of patients who frequently visit the ED due to an underlying alcohol use disorder (AUD). The proposed study will assess the feasibility of implementing a multimodal treatment for AUD in the emergency department for 25 patients with AUD. The rationale for including each component of the multimodal treatment is outlined below.

Pharmacotherapy is recommended as the standard of care for alcohol use disorders. Of the four drugs approved by the FDA for treatment of alcohol use disorder, extended release naltrexone has been found to be superior at reducing healthcare utilization, increasing detoxification facility use, and reducing total cost. Fewer than 1 in 4 patients with AUD currently receives treatment with an FDA approved agent and use of these drugs in EDs is virtually non-existent.

ED patients with alcohol use disorders frequently suffer from multiple medical, mental health, and social problems that influence their health. Providing such patients with case management services has shown promise in improving health related outcomes while curbing ED utilization and healthcare costs.

Regardless of comorbidity, limited access to substance use and mental health services is a significant barrier to receiving treatment, and large disparities exist in access based on income level. Facilitated referrals, where a healthcare worker communicates with the patient and service providers and assists the patient with obtaining follow up, have been used effectively to improve access to specialty care after ED discharge. Case managers are familiar with community treatment resources and are well versed in providing facilitated referrals.

The primary hypothesis is that implementing this multimodal treatment will be feasible in an ED setting and will reduce alcohol use. Feasibility measures (recruitment, retention, continuation of treatment after the trial) are the primary outcomes. The intent of the intervention is to change drinking behavior in a way that benefits participants' health and quality of life. As such, we will conduct a limited efficacy assessment. Treatment efficacy will be assessed by comparing alcohol consumption, quality of life, and life consequences related to alcohol use before and after the intervention.

The primary efficacy outcome is change in total alcohol consumption measured by a 2 week timeline follow back. Change from baseline will be assessed after the 3 month intervention period, and at the conclusion of the study follow up period for all outcomes.
Study Started
Aug 14
Primary Completion
May 01
Study Completion
May 01
Last Update
Aug 08

Drug Vivitrol (Extended Release Naltrexone)

Monthly Injections of 380mg Extended-Release Naltrexone, case management services as needed tailored to the individual participant

  • Other names: Case Management, SBIRT

Multimodal Intervention Experimental

The intervention is multimodal and consists of: Intramuscular injections of 380mg extended-release Naltrexone, given once monthly for 3 months. Case Management services


Inclusion Criteria:

Active alcohol use by self-report
Known alcohol use disorder or suspected alcohol use disorder and Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) score ≥ 8 or AUDIT-C score > 4, or frequent emergency department visits and hazardous drinking defined as: At least 3 emergency department visits in the past 12 months, including the index visit, and Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) score ≥ 8 or AUDIT-C score > 4

Exclusion Criteria:

Opioid use: currently receiving opioid analgesics, self-report of opioid use in past 7 days, current physiologic opioid dependence, patients in acute opioid withdrawal, urine toxicology screen positive for opiates including fentanyl
History of hypersensitivity to naltrexone, polylactide-co-glycolide (PLG), carboxymethylcellulose, or any other components of the diluent
Liver function tests (AST, ALT) > 5x upper limit of normal or known cirrhosis
Platelets less than 100,000 per cubic mm
Acute condition at the time of enrollment that necessitates medical therapy with opioids
No Results Posted