Millions of people battle addiction every day, and it comes in many shapes and forms. Some people struggle with drugs and alcohol, while others succumb to the mental allure of gambling, death-defying behavior, spending money they don’t have – or other behaviors and actions detrimental to their psychological and physical wellbeing. One of the ways to treat addiction may be NAD+ therapy.
What is NAD+?
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is a vital pyridine nucleotide that has attracted significant interest in the last 100 years thanks to its essential role in hundreds of biological and cellular processes linked to energy production, cellular defense against stress, and human longevity. It’s a cornerstone to the purpose of the makers of cells — mitochondria. NAD+ doesn’t just help turn food into energy, but also plays a big role in preserving DNA integrity and safeguards proper cell operation to guard our bodies against aging and illness.
How Do You Get It Into Your System?
NAD+ occurs naturally in the body, but levels can drop, particularly with aging. One of the ways to quickly restore and boost NAD+ levels is through intravenous (IV) therapy. IV therapy is just as you might imagine. A liquid cocktail of vitamins and nutrients is pumped into your system through a needle inserted into a vein in your arm, with the needle being attached to a plastic line that delivers the liquid.
What Is Addiction?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, addiction is categorized as a long-term, relapsing disorder known for compulsive drug-seeking, repeated use even with harmful consequences, and long-term deviations in the brain. Experts consider it both a mental ailment and a complex brain disorder. Addiction is considered the most severe form among a full spectrum of substance use disorders. It is a medical illness whose origin lies in “repeated misuse of a substance or substances.”
How Many People Are Addicted?
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, 21 million Americans experience substance abuse disorder, also known as addiction. In 2017, almost 74% of people with an addiction reported they struggled with an alcohol use disorder, and more than 8 million also had a mental health disorder and substance abuse disorder. Sadly, drug overdoses resulting from addiction have cost the lives of more than 700,000 people in the U.S. since 2000.
The Cost of Addiction
Lives lost due to addiction are the worst price to pay, but there are other costs associated with addiction.
- In 2020, the U.S. government allocated $35 billion for drug control.
- Of the more than 20 million people who reported an addiction in 2017, only 11% were able to receive treatment for their condition.
- According to some estimates, the total cost of all drug use is more than $800 billion annually, including lost productivity, expenses related to legal issues, and intervention and support from the U.S. health system.
NAD+ Therapy & Addiction
According to research by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, there is some evidence that boosting NAD+ levels may help treat and manage addiction “and reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms in patients with food addiction and/or substance abuse.” Experts note, however, that there’s a limited number of studies providing such evidence, so more research is needed. It is the most direct method of increasing NAD levels and may provide considerable improvements in people with addictive disorders.
In one study, IV NAD+ showed comprehensive evidence of withdrawal from addictive drugs without people experiencing pain symptoms directly attributed to withdrawal. Unlike other kinds of therapy or treatment, it also offers an inexpensive and direct means for healthcare providers to treat addiction without the need for utilizing more costly and potentially risky synthetic therapeutic agents, which may encourage addiction or routines that necessitate the tracking of addictive drugs for the purpose of slow withdrawal. However, researchers clarify that using NAD+ doesn’t allow for sustained consumption of highly addictive drugs. Instead, NAD+ therapy is squarely aimed at bettering fruitful aging by reestablishing health processes, doing away with cravings and withdrawal indications, and helping with abstinence. Recent studies using IV NAD+ for addiction therapy lay the groundwork for more thorough investigations into the instruments by which addiction is sensitive to NAD+, and how it may improve, if not weaken, addiction at the clinical level.
But there may be other ways to treat addiction that your healthcare provider should discuss with you, including other therapy or medicine like ketamine.