A pilot study of naltrexone and BASICS for heavy drinking young adults

Robert F. Leeman, Rebekka S. Palmer, William R. Corbin, Denise M. Romano, Boris Meandzija, Stephanie S. O'Malley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Heavy drinking young adults often have limited motivation to change their drinking behavior. Adding pharmacotherapy to brief counseling is a novel approach to treating this population. A small open-label pilot study was conducted to assess the feasibility of offering eight weeks of daily and targeted (i.e., taken as needed in anticipation of drinking) naltrexone with BASICS (brief motivational) counseling to heavy drinking young adults; to assess the tolerability of the medication in this population and to obtain preliminary efficacy data. The sample (N = 14) showed strong adherence to study appointments and medication taking, supporting the feasibility of this approach. Overall, the medication was well-tolerated. Significant reductions from baseline were observed in drinks per drinking day and in percent heavy drinking days and these gains were maintained one month after treatment ended. A significant decrease in alcohol-related consequences was also observed. Findings from this small pilot study suggest that naltrexone in combination with BASICS represents a promising strategy to reduce heavy drinking among young adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1048-1054
Number of pages7
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol-related consequences
  • Heavy drinking
  • Naltrexone
  • Undergraduate drinking
  • Young adult drinking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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