Still accepting Telemedicine appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.
Skip to main content

Addiction Medicine Specialist

William D Nelson, NMD -  - Physical Medicine

Explore Health

William D Nelson, NMD

Physical Medicine & Addiction Medicine located in North Scottsdale, AZ & Flagstaff, AZ

Addiction medicine is a complex field, so it’s important to find a specialist who truly understands the intricate effects of addiction when you need help. Explore Health is a facility in Flagstaff and Scottsdale, Arizona, that uses proven scientific techniques for effective addiction medicine care. Experienced physical medical doctor William Nelson, NMD, was featured in the Time Magazine special edition "The Science of Addiction," and he’s ready to share his unique concierge service with you. He has years of experience successfully providing individual attention and personalized service for alcohol, opiates, and process addictions, so reach out for the customized care you deserve. Call the office or click the online scheduler now.

Addiction Medicine Q & A


What is addiction medicine?

Addiction medicine focuses on treating and managing drug and alcohol addiction and dependency.

As an addiction medicine expert, Dr. Nelson’s treatments combine the science of addiction treatments with the support and guidance to help customize an individualized treatment plan. 

He considers how the brain and body function when using addictive substances to determine the best way for his patients to live without self-destructive effects of drugs and alcohol.

What is the best treatment for drug dependency or addiction?

People’s needs vary, so Dr. Nelson carefully evaluates you and considers your situation and feelings when recommending an addiction recovery plan. Many patients come to Explore Health feeling frustrated with traditional and alternative treatment approaches because they rely so heavily on group meetings or psychotherapy. 

Those approaches never really consider the science of addiction: Essentially, they ignore the way your brain works in terms of chemical reactions to addictive substances. When patients first use addictive substances like opiates, they get effects that include a heightened sense of well-being, pain relief, and euphoria.

After the honeymoon period with the drug, they need to continue to increase the amounts used to feel the effects and eventually are forced to use daily just to prevent the pain of being “dope sick”. 

Dr. Nelson has years of experience combining rescue medications, tapering drug use, and nutritional and emotional support to make the withdrawal process easier both physically and psychologically so patients do not have to go into an in-patient facility to detox.

With this approach, you transition off drugs and take medications and nutritional supplements that significantly reduce your withdrawal symptoms and allow you to regain control of your life and begin your recovery.

What is Naltrexone and how is it used in your addiction recovery program?

Naltrexone is a medication that helps opiate addicts and alcoholics stop using and drinking. For more info on Naltrexone for alcohol use disorder, please see (link to Sinclair Method).

This medication blocks opioid receptors in your brain, preventing the opioid “high” and also decreasing the cravings that make relapse so common and long term recovery so difficult.

Many patients that have tried many times to stay off opiates, heroin, or fentanyl have found that Naltrexone is the key to their long term success. 

What is Naltrexone Pellet Implant Therapy?

A person needs to be free from opiates or heroin for a minimum of one week before receiving a Naltrexone pellet. Those on Methadone, Suboxone® or Subutex® should be off their prescription for at least 10-14 days because these drugs take longer to clear from the body.

Even if no opioids have been taken for the recommended time, there may be some mild to moderate withdrawals due to the chronic imbalance in the essential brain neurotransmitters.

Explore Health requires a simple blood test, a basic screening and exam to decrease the risks and increase the success of Naltrexone therapy. The team will also perform a urine drug screen immediately prior to the pellet insertion.

The procedure is simple and takes just a few minutes to perform. Dr. Nelson will numb the area and then make a small incision and place two pellets under the skin. The incision is closed with a few stitches and the patient is sent home or back to work if they want.

It is recommended that patients wear a Medic-Alert tag (bracelet or necklace) that would inform a treating physician that the patient is on Naltrexone maintenance therapy in the event that the patient is not able to communicate this information.

Dr. Nelson would need to prescribe a non-opiate medication if pain relief was required.

What is Lucemyra?

Lucemyra, another oral medication, prevents the severe opioid withdrawal symptoms that can occur when you quit using. When you’re taking opioids, your brain makes less of a hormone called norepinephrine. This affects various bodily functions, including breathing, and can also impact muscle tension and sleep. As you continue taking opioids, your body adjusts norepinephrine levels to adapt to the new normal levels. 

When you stop taking opioids, your norepinephrine levels are imbalanced. This leads to opioid withdrawal symptoms like stomach pain, cramps, insomnia, twitching muscles, chills, and other highly unpleasant symptoms.

Lucemyra restores your norepinephrine balance to normal levels and significantly helps to relieve your withdrawal symptoms.

Dr. Nelson also treats alcohol dependence. For that, he typically uses The Sinclair Method, a science-based plan to help you transition away from alcohol.

With all addiction medicine, Dr. Nelson may recommend complementary care like mind-body medicine. This helps you achieve an ideal mind and body balance by acknowledging the effects that stress and trauma can have bodywide. 

Explore Health can help you take control through their cutting-edge addiction medicine programs. Call the office or schedule your appointment with online booking now.