Get help today 888-341-7785 or sign up for 24/7 text support.
American Addiction Centers National Rehabs Directory

NAD Addiction Treatment…Too Good To Be True?

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 coenzyme 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 misuse 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.

The History of NAD Treatment

Although the treatment is relatively new to the United States, NAD therapy has 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.

What Is the NAD Treatment Process?

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 8 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 individuals addicted to alcohol and opioids.

Side Effects of NAD Detox

Studies show that using high doses of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids for short periods of time present negligible adverse effects. In fact, the most commonly reported side effect with NAD therapy is feeling slightly flu-like, which seems to pass rapidly.

Detox Treatment

Detox serves as the first part of treatment and recovery for many individuals battling a substance or alcohol use disorder (SUD/AUD). The process of clearing harmful substances from the body marks the initial stage, before progressing into stabilization, and then a formal inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment program.1

Detoxification can take place in a number of settings. Social detox programs can provide a more natural or holistic approach to detox, featuring short-term, non-medical support during the withdrawal period. Social detox programs may include patient monitoring, as well as emergency protocols in the event of withdrawal complications.

Medically supervised detoxification programs can help minimize unpleasant withdrawal symptoms and address any complications, in a safe and comfortable environment. In addition to the supervision and support of professional detoxification, certain medications can be administered that minimize withdrawal symptoms and help keep individuals safe. It can be risky to abruptly stop drug and alcohol use. The alcohol detoxification process, for example, can bring about dangerous withdrawal symptoms, such as seizures or delirium tremens.1 In addition to these potential health dangers, an unpleasant withdrawal process can significantly increase the chance for relapse.

Finding Detox Programs

American Addiction Centers (AAC) is a leading provider of safe drug and alcohol detoxification. If you’d like to learn more about available treatment options with AAC, including rehab programs that include detox, please contact us today at . You can also use our free and confidential insurance verification tool below to see if your health insurance covers detox at an American Addiction Centers facility. We’re here to help you begin your journey to recovery.

Was this page helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.

American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.

Read our full editorial policy

While we are unable to respond to your feedback directly, we'll use this information to improve our online help.