NAD+ DIGEST News, Research and Stories about NAD+, Healing and Recovery

Addiction & The Brain

Research has shown that addiction is not a matter of an individual strength, moral character or willpower. Instead, it can be attributed to the way an individual brain becomes wired. Genetic predisposition alongside long-term use of alcohol and other drugs actually changes the brain and how the brain reacts to exposure to the drug in question. Substance use increases the release of a powerful chemical called dopamine.

Dopamine is an example of a neurotransmitter, think of it as one of many signaling molecules in the brain, different neurotransmitters perform different functions. When we engage in a pleasurable activity dopamine release is accompanied with the feelings of joy or euphoria, think of dopamine as the universal reward signal in the brain. The chemical is released to motivate the individual to seek out the cause of the dopamine release because dopamine is generally released alongside beneficial activities. Drugs and alcohol cause an increase in dopamine release. Over time, if dopamine is routinely in abundance, the brain attempts to balance things out by producing less dopamine naturally. At that point, the brain is relying on substances to trigger the release of dopamine. That is when individuals start to use alcohol and other drugs just to feel normal.

This all takes place in an area of the brain we call the reward center, it’s the same place that regulates and reinforces natural rewards that are vital to our existence, such as food or sex. That is why the addicted brain can pursue alcohol and other drugs as if they are needed for mere survival, and why people with addiction can place that pursuit irrationally above almost all other priorities.

Our program assists in alleviating opiate, alcohol and other chemical cravings, without minimal withdrawal symptoms. Through the use of Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide, or NAD+, we infuse a simple metabolic coenzyme of a B Vitamin.  With NAD+ therapy, Dopamine neurons all throughout the brain appear to be restored and revitalized.  By the end of the infusion patients are no longer in withdrawal and report extremely reduced cravings or desire to use.

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