Opioid Dependence

A life-threatening epidemic encompassing the nation has recently reached a boiling point, as the majority of drug overdoses in the United States stems from opioids.


drug over doses


There is evidence to suggest that the prescription of opioid painkillers has contributed to the opioid epidemic. Between 1999 and 2008 prescription painkiller sales quadrupled, and in 2010 opioid overdoses were four times higher than the number in 1999.

To date, drug overdoses are the leading cause of death under the age of 50.

Four out of five heroin users started misusing opioid painkillers, and 94 percent of heroin users admit turning to heroin because prescription painkillers were too expensive and harder to obtain.

Overly prescribed opiate painkillers and the accessibility to heroin undoubtedly played a major role in the drug overdose crisis. Many of these deaths could have been prevented as more and more people become “accidental addicts.”

For example, Rick was a real estate developer that was prescribed painkillers after a motorcycle accident. What started as a routine remedy for pain crept into a physical dependency in which Rick was taking up to 60 Norco, also known as hydrocodone, a day.


Why is opiate addiction hard to treat?

Opioids bind to receptors in the brain, which result in a euphoric feeling. While this is effective in relieving pain, it also stimulates the release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens, known as the ‘reward center of the brain.’ The euphoric feeling of the opiates and the release of dopamine fuels the desire and motivation to continue using, exacerbating a never-ending cycle.

Even if one does gather the emotional strength to break free from addiction, the withdrawal symptoms thereafter are a mountain of its own. Vomiting, headache, chills, muscle pain, insomnia and a rapid heart rate are just a few of the withdrawal symptoms that can last for several days.

As one continues to use opiates in greater amounts, the brain produces more opioid receptors. These opioid receptors are extremely hungry for opioids, and require more opioids to maintain the euphoric feeling. This process is known as the “receptor upregulation.”

If the receptors are not filled and remain empty, pain signals are sent and the desire to use again intensifies. Simultaneously, the release of excess dopamine is a signal for the brain to naturally produce less, resulting in an imbalance of neurotransmitters within the brain. A combination of the abundant opioid receptors and released dopamine creates a perfect environment for dependence, tolerance and cravings.


Opioid Detox

Medically assisted detoxification is available to some, with the right insurance, and is designed to help numb the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms. Most detoxification centers will prescribe replacement drugs, such as methadone or suboxone, which results in a different kind of dependence, sometimes lasting a lifetime.


Is there a natural way to detox?

NAD+ therapy has been clinically used since the 1960’s to help break free from chemical dependence. NAD+ is an all-natural, vitamin B derivative, with minimal side effects.

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 12 months later and 20 months later. 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 facilities 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.