Alcohol Use Disorder
Alcohol is the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Roughly 15.1 million adults and 623,000 adolescents ages 12-17 are estimated to have alcohol use disorder (AUD) in the United States.
The loss of control and tolerance leads to increased physical dependence and unrelenting cravings. The dangerous long-term consequences of heavy alcohol consumption can take a toll on one’s physical and mental health, career and relationships.
For example, Kelly hit rock bottom as her world collapsed around on her from drinking and taking prescribed anti-anxiety medications. The cravings alone prevented Kelly from staying sober, which took an incredible toll on her family and mental health. Watch how Kelly took back her life with the help of NAD+ therapy.
The Effect of Alcohol on the Brain
The short term effects of alcohol are very different from the long term effects, mostly due to your body and brain trying to adjust to the changes alcohol exhibits. Your brain has a delicate balance of hormones and neurotransmitters, especially the neurotransmitters that ‘excite’ or ‘inhibit’ neurons.
Alcohol increases inhibitory neurotransmitters, such as gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), known for its sedative effects. At the same time, excitatory neurotransmitters, such as glutamate, are reduced. This explains why most people feel more relaxed after a drink.
Over time with consistent and chronic consumption of alcohol, the body will try to rebalance itself by reducing the amount of GABA receptors in the brain and increasing N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, the excitatory neurotransmitter receptors. The problem begins when someone stops drinking and these receptors become overactive. These cells become excitotoxic and the individual may be prone to seizures and cell brain damage.
Photo taken from C. Fernando Valenzuela, M.D., PH.D. in “Alcohol and Neurotransmitter Interactions.”
Any time alcohol is consumed, the brain produces more dopamine, another neurotransmitter that plays an essential role in motivation. There is a region within the brain that regulates our addictive behavior, known as the nucleus accumbens. Dopamine acts as a ‘reward signal’ to the region, which reinforces a behavior. Thus, increased levels of dopamine around the nucleus accumbens reinforces the desire to drink more alcohol.
NAD+ and Alcohol Metabolism
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), a vitamin B coenzyme, is required to metabolize alcohol. More specifically, NAD+ is reduced to NADH by the enzyme (ALDH) to convert ethanol into acetaldehyde, which is further reduced to acetate in the mitochondria with the help of NAD+. The increased ratio of NADH/NAD+ interferes with mitochondrial activity, which can lead to the development of ketoacidosis and alcoholic fatty liver disease.
“Just one drink of alcohol can eliminate one days worth of NAD production that the body makes,” explained Ross Grant, Ph.D, at the BR Plus NAD Summit 2015.
Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
The liver metabolizes the majority of ingested alcohol and is subjected to the majority of damage from alcohol. Alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD) is caused by chronic alcohol consumption in which toxic byproducts of alcohol metabolism cause damage to liver cells. This is only the first step of even worse alcohol-related liver diseases. Over time and without treatment, it may escalate into cirrhosis.
Alcohol and Epigenetics
Many are unaware that alcohol can alter your epigenetics, or the expression of certain genes. A key enzyme studied by Harvard University, known as sirtuin 1, has the ability to turn on and off certain genes related to aging and cellular repair.
Sirtuins rely on NAD+ as a coenzyme in order to be activated. Depleted levels of NAD+ limit the ability of sirtuins to regulate gene expression, thus accelerating cellular aging and preventing repair from damage.
NAD+ Therapy for Addiction
NAD+ therapy has been observed clinically to reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings in 90 percent of patients. Furthermore, over 90 percent these patients remained sober for at 12 months and 20 months. A statistic like this is impressive when compared to the conventional methods of detoxification and rehabilitation.
NAD+ therapy helps rebalance the brain and replenishes your body with the essential coenzyme needed for cellular repair and vitality. In addition to NAD+ therapy, the NAD Treatment Center Detox Method ™ utilizes innovative technology, including the Bridge, to help minimize pain and the FEAR of pain.
The NAD Treatment Center is also a provider of VIVTROL, a non-addictive drug approved by the FDA to prevent opioid and alcohol use after detoxification. It’s important to note that NAD+ therapy is not a replacement for rehabilitation, and it is recommended to follow up with an after care program after NAD+ assisted detoxification from chemical dependency.
The NAD Treatment Center often refers patients to trusted aftercare and sober living facilites to ensure the best recovery. Additionally, our Medical Director, Phillip Milgram, MD, has three different addiction counseling certifications from UCSD. As a recovering addict himself, he understands the struggles and challenges associated with recovery.
To hear more about the proprietary NAD Treatment Centers Detox MethodTM, please call 1-844-NAD-PLUS.
NAD+ qualifies as a supplement under the Food and Drug Administration guidelines and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.