Naltrexone as a Treatment for Gambling Disorder

Title of Study: The effect of regular naltrexone dosing on disordered gamblers: An examination of neural activation, gambling urges, and gambling behaviour.

Investigators: Dr. Darren R. Christensen (University of Lethbridge), Dr. David Hodgins, (University of Calgary), Dr. Bradley Goodyear (University of Calgary), Dr. Ron Lim (University of Calgary, Alberta Health Services), Dr. David Crockford (Alberta Health Services), and Susan McLean (Alberta Health Services), Dr. Hugh Colohan (Alberta Health Services), and Dr. Tim Ayas (Alberta Health Services)

Who we are looking for? We are looking for people who are experiencing problems due to their gambling to participate in a research study. This study investigates the effects of taking a drug used to treat alcohol dependence to treat disordered gambling. Participants will also be scanned before and after treatment.

Participants will be asked to complete a range of assessments. Compensation is provided for completing these assessments. The treatment is free.

What will I be asked to do? You will complete a range of assessments before and after treatment. Before treatment begins we will ask you to provide a breath sample and a urine specimen. We will also take a blood sample to test your liver is working properly and take a brain scan. The breath sample, urine specimen, and blood sample with occur at the Sheldon M. Chumir Health Centre or at the Claresholm Addiction facility. The brain scan will occur at the Foothills hospital. We will provide the drug each week for 12-weeks at the Sheldon M. Chumir Health Centre or at the Claresholm Addiction facility and administer weekly tests. Every month we will ask you to provide a blood sample. At the end of treatment you will complete the same set of assessments as you did at the beginning of the study including the breath sample, blood sample, and brain scan.

This study has been approved by the University of Calgary’s Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board (Study ID: REB15-2025). Participation is confidential.

If you are interested please contact: The Opioid Dependency Program on 403-297-4001 and ask for the Gambling Study or speak to Drs. Lim, Colohan, or Ayas at the Claresholm facility.

TV piece on the study: click here