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      Sober Nation

      Putting Recovery On The Map

      03-11-19 | By

      How a Molecule Called NAD+ is Helping Addicts Recover

      For many people suffering with drug or alcohol addiction, taking one of the first steps in the path of sobriety, detoxing off the abused substance, can often be intimidating. Fear of severe withdrawal symptoms can be so overwhelming, in fact, that many people may delay getting the treatment they need. Furthermore, since drugs and alcohol adversely affect the chemicals in the brain, removing the substances from the body can cause mental-emotional imbalances that result in further drug abuse to cope from the roller-coaster of emotions. Fortunately, there is hope for a recovering addict. Brain therapy healing, through the form of NAD, not only minimizes withdrawal symptoms but also rebuilds neurons in the brain and reduces the drug cravings in the first place. And while this form of therapy has been used since the 1960s, the relatively recent buzz about NAD treating addiction might have someone asking: could this therapy really be the cure all for an addict?

      What is NAD Therapy?

      NAD stands for Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide. A key compound in every living creature, NAD regulates gene expression and calcium levels, is involved in DNA repair, and works with enzymes in the body to release energy via the mitochondria (commonly known as the “powerhouse” of cells). Furthermore, because NAD is a powerful antioxidant, it plays a significant role in anti-aging by slowing down the aging process, as well as, even reversing aging. While the body naturally produces NAD, the overall levels of this coenzyme decreases with age, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), chronic depression and anxiety, and drug/alcohol abuse. It is even speculated that people who are most prone to addiction and co-occurring disorders to begin with do not have proper levels of NAD and, therefore, seek drugs to fill the void. This is a vicious cycle for an addict that seeks drugs to cope with an underlying medical condition, yet, through the use of drugs ends up depleting more of the essential nutrients they need and further needs more coping mechanisms to feel functional. Therefore, replenishing the body with key nutrients through NAD vitamin therapy is essential in restoring the body to optimal functioning and minimizing the risk of addiction from occurring in the first place.

      Who Can Benefit from NAD Therapy?

      Because NAD therapy works much quicker than other detoxification methods, withdrawal symptoms and physical cravings are significantly reduced within three to four days of IV drips. This is especially appealing for people recovering from addiction (alcohol, opioids, nicotine) because they are provided with near-immediate relief and can start focusing on their sobriety. Although NAD is primarily known to help people recover from substance abuse, there are many other significant uses for this IV therapy. Some of these uses include treatment for someone who:

      • suffers from depression
      • has adrenal fatigue
      • wants to improve brain health and neurological function
      • is looking for anti-aging treatments
      • needs an energy boost
      • wants to restore muscle function and athletic performance

      The allure of NAD being natural, non-addictive and more prevalent with holistic healing approaches, is causing people to start looking towards NAD for a more comprehensive approach to well-being that they may not have been able to find anywhere else.

      How is NAD Therapy Administered for Addiction?

      NAD is typically, and most beneficially, delivered through an IV. The high dose of NAD administered through an IV, as opposed to orally, is most favorable because it goes straight into the bloodstream, thus optimizing NAD levels in the body. By bypassing the stomach and traveling directly to the brain, an individual being administered this coenzyme through slow drip IV will feel a boost of energy and enhanced mood and awareness. Since drugs deplete energy levels, an addict may feel a new sense of well-being, focus, and clarity that they have not had in a long time.

      Depending on the severity of addiction, NAD IV therapy can last anywhere from 4 to 14 days, with follow ups scheduled 1 to 2 months after treatment. During this recommended length of treatment, NAD has been proven to have three key effects on the user:

      • All drugs are flushed out of the user’s system  
      • Cravings for alcohol and opioids are curbed and the pain of withdrawal is minimized
      • The body produces more energy naturally without a crash or jitters

      NAD Therapy with Support

      According to Darryl Stevens, CEO at DIGITECH “While NAD may seem like the cure-all for addiction, it is only a stepping stone in the recovery process.” Regular support and therapy is recommended in order to address the root cause of the addiction in the first place and give the user tools to maintain sobriety in day-to-day living. As such, NAD is most beneficially utilized at the beginning stages of recovery to help flush the drugs out of the system and curb cravings, making recovery easier physically and mentally. Then, either during NAD therapy or immediately after, seeking help through drug rehab or intensive therapy is essential. Remember, utilizing tools, such as NAD therapy, are wonderful tools to provide immediate relief from substance abuse, however, true recovery is a day-to-day journey, not a one-step-and-done event. Combining multiple holistic modalities, along with daily support, will ensure that someone suffering from substance abuse is set on a firm foundation for lifelong sobriety.


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