One of the newest holistic treatments in the field of addiction recovery is an amino acid therapy, known as NAD IV therapy.
Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD) is a metabolic co-enzyme and is charged with the important job of structuring, repairing, and remodeling every cell in the body. These specialized enzymes require constant replenishment in the body. Unfortunately, drug and alcohol abuse prompt the human brain to reorganize, particularly on a cellular level. This process, known as neuroadaptation, is directly responsible for addiction-related brain damage and depletion of neurotransmitters. NAD IV therapy is said to replenish the drained enzymes and target brain restoration.
Although the treatment is relatively new to the US, NAD therapy has actually been around since 1961. Its first use was recorded in South Africa. The first addiction treatment clinic to utilize NAD therapy was located in Springfield, Louisiana. The center was founded by psychotherapist Paula Mestayer and her husband Richard, who was a practicing psychiatrist at the time. After conducting intensive research into NAD therapy for addiction, they opened Springfield Wellness Center in 2001 and have since treated over 1,000 patients.
NAD IV therapy usually requires one infusion per day for a period of ten days. A facility physician develops an individualized treatment plan for each patient, including the precise NAD mixture. At the beginning of each day, a trained nurse will insert an IV and begin to slowly infuse the NAD mixture. Withdrawal symptoms reportedly begin to subside in just a matter of minutes.
Patients are able to comfortably relax while the formulation is delivered over a period of approximately eight hours. Some reports indicate NAD therapy can reduce withdrawal symptoms by 70-80 percent, though there are no hard facts to support this claim.
Between the fourth and eighth day, patients typically report feeling better, with increased mental clarity. However, it is important to note that patients must complete each infusion process in order to eliminate or minimize cravings. More importantly, after receiving NAD IV therapy, each patient must deal with the psychological aspects of addiction, otherwise a relapse is inevitable.
Though NAD IV therapy will need additional research and evaluation, the treatment does seem to produce positive results among patients struggling with addiction. Early data seems to indicate the highest success rates with NAD are among alcohol and opiate addicts.
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