Chemical Dependence Detox

REVIVE! Chemical Dependence Detox

Dr. Grodski utilizes a unique non-pharmaceutical-based approach for chemical dependence detox and addiction recovery.

The first step in our Revive! program at White Rock Naturopathic is a functional medical assessment looking for conditions in the body (i.e. functional and chemical disorders, neurotransmitter levels and their relative deficiencies and imbalances, nutritional requirements and deficiencies, etc.) that contribute to addictive behaviors, and dependence in general. This allows us to individualize your withdrawal and recovery program based on your specific biochemical needs.

Following our assessment, we immediately begin an individualized oral supplement program tailored specifically for your needs and deficiencies as preparation for detox. This begins to address the underlying neurotransmitter deficiencies that have contributed to one’s particular substance dependence and emotional make-up or (im)balance.This oral supplement program may continue after the 5-10 day core treatment is completed for a period of time depending on one’s individualized needs.

The NAD+ Brain Restoration and Neurotransmitter Rehabilitation treatment is then begun, allowing for detox to proceed with as minimal withdrawal side effects as possible. This involves IV NAD+ and individualized Amino Acid infusions, along with Vitamin C, high dose vitamin/multi-mineral, and glutathione infusions, for 4-10 days in total. IV infusions can range in duration from 1-6 hours. An IV line is inserted in one’s arm while relaxing in a lounge chair, and the IV formulation is slowly infused. One may watch television, read, eat, and even doze during the infusion.

The uncomfortable feelings of withdrawal and cravings subside and remain at bay surprisingly quickly. Between the fourth and eighth day patients typically report feelings of amazing mental clarity. Infusions are tolerated well and any mild side effects disappear as soon as the infusion is stopped or finished.

The IV NAD+ and amino acids improve brain function based on higher levels of cellular energy production along with restored production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and GABA. Over the course of treatment neuro receptors and neurotransmitter levels are restored noticeably. There is some withdrawal symptoms for two or three days, but reduced by 70 to 90% when compared to “cold turkey” withdrawal.  After three to five days as withdrawal symptoms disappear, craving subsides and clarity of thinking is restored.

While IV NAD+ treatment can substantially reduce withdrawal symptoms, restore mood and cognitive abilities, and generally return one’s brain, and neurological functioning to a much more comfortable, healthy, normal state, that can offer one the possibility of a clean start, it is highly recommended and necessary to pursue a supportive recovery program on completing treatment to ensure overall success.

Possible recovery programs includes:

  • AA, NA, and/or other 12-step program
  • Individual, Group or Family psychotherapy
  • Positive Addictions programs (exercise, hobbies, and other social groups)
  • Residential and/or Intensive Outpatient Programs

The Revive! Program Includes the following:

  1. Functional Medical Assessment & Lab workup;
  2. 30 day Oral Supplement Program (Amino Acids, Vitamins/Minerals, Nootropics, Botanicals, etc);
  3. IV NAD+ & Amino Acid therapy (individualized); (Hitt protocol NeuroRecover IV formulations are also available);
  4. IV Vitamin C + high dose vitamin/multi-mineral (Myer’s) infusions;
  5. IV Glutathione infusions;, for 4-10 days in total;
  6. Counseling/Coaching & Acupuncture therapy (NADA protocol) as needed;

It is required for patients receiving chemical detox that a trusted friend or family member transport the patient to and from the clinic over the first several days and stay with them for continuous supervision outside of the clinic. After a few days when patients are feeling noticeably better (approximately day 3-5), they can safely drive themselves. Patients receiving IV BR+ therapy for stress relief, PTSD, or to treat other medical conditions do not require additional support at home or for driving beyond normal personal needs.

NAD is Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide. It is a naturally occurring co-enzyme that is made by our bodies and has a central role in the metabolism and energy production of every single cell in the body. It is a special molecule whose structure is synthesized by our bodies in part by combining derivatives of Vitamin B-3 and the amino acid tryptophan. Our cells and bodies cannot live without NAD.

NAD is a molecule that reacts with oxygen in the mitochondria in every cell of your body in order to create cellular energy (ATP – Adenosine triphosphate, the basic energy molecule in the body) so you can move, breathe, pump blood, digest food, think, and generally, live your life. It has more than 100 metabolic functions in our human biochemistry, and thus not suprisingly, has a direct role in conditions affecting physical and mental health, and cellular aging.

Lack of this essential cellular fuel is now recognized as a key feature of chronic fatigue, apathy, depression, anxiety, alcohol and drug addiction, weak immune system (infections and cancer), muscle pain and weakness, headaches, memory disturbance, sleep problems, focus and concentration defects and other chronic diseases.

Some of the functions of NAD in the body include:

  • Increases energy in brain cells
  • Stimulates production of dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline, thereby improving moods
  • Increases energy in heart cells
  • Protects and repairs DNA, reducing DNA mutations which contribute to atherosclerosis, cancer, immunodeficiency, rheumatoid arthritis, and much more
  • The “most powerful antioxidant” in the body according to Dr. Richard Passwater in his book NADH-The Energizing Coenzyme
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Stimulates nitric oxide production, thereby improving blood flow in the body

NAD+ Brain Restoration Therapy provides what the the brain needs for healthy functioning. Stress, depression, addiction, alcoholism, and post-traumatic stress deplete the brain of chemicals known as neurotransmitters. Treatment helps patients replenish their supply of neurotransmitters, withdraw from addictive substances and overcome anxiety, depression, chronic or acute stress, post-traumatic stress, and degenerative neurological conditions, by giving the brain what it needs to return to proper functioning. These treatments are completely nutrient-based—not another drug to become addicted to or dependent upon. They are compounds a healthy body makes naturally.

Simply taking oral supplements of Vitamin B-3 or Niacin along with tryptophan does not produce the same effect of IV infusion with the NAD+. The treatment effects are not a function replacing a dietary deficiency of Vitamin B-3. Intravenous (IV) administration is required vs oral treatment in order for sufficient amounts of NAD to be present for acute detoxification and major brain restorative effect to occur off of alcohol, opiates, stimulants, and benzodiazepines. Patients without dietary deficiency have a robust response to IV NAD for acute withdrawal.

At the end of the treatment using the NAD+ formula, the majority of patients report no cravings. They describe the presence of increased clarity of mind, restful sleeping, better problem-solving ability, increased energy, improved focus and concentration, and improved mood.

Studies done in the early 1960s first demonstrated the efficacy and safety of IV NAD in detoxifying patients from alcohol, opiates, tranquilizers and stimulants. Since then this treatment has become well known and utilized around the world as one of the most effective detox and brain restorative treatments available.

NeuroRecover ™ – Individualized NAD+ / Amino Acid Formulations

At White Rock Naturopathic, we have the option of either using standard NAD+ & Amino Acid IV formulations or the NeuroRecover program developed by Dr. Hitt.

NeuroRecover is an innovative, non-addictive, patient-specific program based on years of applied science and treatment. The NeuroRecover program utilizes proprietary Amino Acid based intravenous preparations for detoxification, coupled with unique oral nutraceutical supplements to assist in managing symptoms both during detoxification and as an ongoing strategy to reduce cravings.

The NeuroRecover program’s patient-specific IV preparations and unique oral nutraceutical supplements are designed to rapidly assist the body in restoring neuroreceptor function to an optimal level. Once the body’s neuroreceptor functions have been healed, the patient’s cravings for these substances is lessened allowing the clinician to remediate any other underlying conditions that lead to the original substance abuse.

These formulas are based on over 15 years of treatment of more than 3,000 patients by Dr. William M. Hitt. The first phase of supplementation is patient-specific, based on the type and severity of the substance abuse, to treat withdrawal symptoms and to ensure the body’s full return to nutritional balance.

How is NeuroRecover treatment given?

The NeuroRecover treatment involves several days, usually without interruption, of daily intravenous treatment. Because NeuroRecover® formulas are composed entirely of very simple amino acids – the natural building blocks of proteins – and a natural enzyme cofactor, they are inherently well tolerated. Your doctor will monitor you during the entire treatment to prevent unwanted reactions.

The IV formula is given as a slow drip, requiring about six hours each day to start and then tapering to fewer hours as detox and healing occurs.

The prolonged daily exposure to high levels of amino acids and nutrients allows most patients who are still using drugs or alcohol to stop these substances completely (“cold turkey”) on the first day of treatment. While some withdrawal symptoms will be felt, most patients find that it is much less severe than doing it without the assistance of the program.

Patients have found that the major negative effects of the drug or alcohol use, such as cravings and anxiety, are gone by the fourth day of treatment. The second phase of healing takes over at this point – getting back one’s enthusiasm, memory and mental clarity, sleep quality and energy. Your doctor will help you determine how many total days of treatment are required for the optimal, lasting result.

Will the effect last?

Most patients have found the positive effects of NeuroRecover treatment to be long lasting, provided one refrains from using the same substances again. Repeat IV treatments are seldom needed, although some patients enjoy a periodic booster. Patients will usually be supplied with an oral after-care supplement program utilizing Zao® Reset™ and Zao® Renew™. These two unique nutraceutical supplements were formulated and designed over the last 10 years between the Hitt Clinic and Montiff, Inc. The supplements are based on Dr. Hitt’s research and treatment of neuroreceptor function and amino acid balance along with Montiff’s expertise in nutritional biochemistry. The patient will utilize these supplements post-intravenous treatment to maintain proper neuroreceptor function and amino acid balance. By encouraging daily neuroreceptor function and amino acid balance, the patient should maintain their craving reduction and notice the restoration of mental clarity that will enhance the patient’s opportunity to live substance free.

NeuroRecover™ works for all classes of drugs, including:

  • Alcohol
  • Antidepressants
  • Anxiety drugs (Ativan, Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, etc.)
  • Narcotics (pain drugs)
  • Heroin and Methadone
  • Tobacco
  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Insomnia drugs
  • Stimulants and ADHD drugs

High Dose IV Vitamin C & Detox

A number of studies have investigated the importance of Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) supplementation in assisting people to withdraw from opiate type drugs (i.e. heroin, methadone ). Researchers have suggested that by correcting hypo-ascorbemia (low Vitamin C blood levels) and mal-nutrition it is possible to take people with addiction off of heroin or methadone without the appearance of withdrawal symptoms.

The general improvement in the well-being of people with addictions occurring within 12-24 hours after beginning Vitamin C detoxification is striking. This is demonstrated by improved mental alertness, visual acuity, and a return of appetite.

Greek researchers compared the effects of administration of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) in 3 groups of men with heroin addiction. The first group of 30 male patients received traditional medical therapy for detoxification.

The second group received traditional medical therapy plus high dose Vitamin C and the third group received only high dose Vitamin C. Evaluation for the appearance and intensity of withdrawal symptoms were conducted by a staff member of the unit.

The researchers found patients who received high dose Vitamin C orally either alone or combined with traditional treatment for heroin addiction manifested major withdrawal in only 10% to 16.6% of the subjects. In contrast, people who received traditional medical therapy alone (without Vitamin C treatment) experienced major withdrawal in 56.6% of the cases. In addition, after four weeks of follow up, the patients receiving Vitamin C expressed vivid feelings of well being and a strong improvement in appetite and psychokinetic behavior without any signs of depression or insomnia in contrast to the control group.

People with addictions to alcohol and drugs may be considered some of the most under-nourished and nutrient deficient populations in healthcare. This nutritional-based concept helps correct underlying biochemical imbalances and helps “neutralize” the intoxicating substance(s) found within the body. Treatments typically involve the oral and intravenous application of customized nutritional medicines, while aggressively correcting malnutrition found within the body.

Several other nutrients, besides Vitamin C, may benefit drug and alcohol addictions. It is important to stress that an imbalance or deficiency of any one nutrient has the potential to act as an obstacle in the recovery process. For example, a vitamin B1 deficiency can not be corrected or helped by giving another B-vitamin, Vitamin C, etc. Surprisingly, the majority of standard detox & recovery centers do not incorporate, advise, or suggest appropriate nutritional supplementation or offer routine laboratory testing in this area.

Dr. Grodski’s unique treatment concept: the “orthomolecular” treatment of addictions

Orthomolecular medicine incorporates the use of specific natural substances such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, and diet in the prevention and treatment of diseases.

Several research papers have already shown the positive benefits of proper nutrients for helping with withdrawal, cravings, and mood swings in people trying to discontinue alcohol, heroin, and other drugs. For example, Vitamin C aids in the detoxification of heroin & methadone, magnesium has positive benefit for alcohol and benzodiazepine withdrawal, and the B-vitamin niacin may decrease anxiety and agitation in alcoholism.

The application of orthomolecular treatments is advantageous for both addictions and mental health care. Reported benefits of treatment are numerous and include: enhanced responses to standard medications and treatments, reduced risks of nervous system damage and drug toxicities, reduction in relapse rates, and improved overall well-being. The ultimate goal of orthomolecular treatment is to provide both mental and physical stability without additional risks and complications. Patients who incorporate this treatment approach commonly feel rejuvenated and rested. Patients also show improved skin tone and color after receiving treatment.

Alcohol and mood-altering drugs (prescription or illegal) work by either mimicking the action of neurotransmitters, or artificially stimulating/ suppressing them. Different drugs affect different neurotransmitters and their receptors. Continued use of these substances can gradually decrease the brain cells’ natural ability to send or receive signals.The nervous system then becomes physically dependent on the substance, continuing to rely on it in an attempt to maintain feelings of normalcy and avoid withdrawal. This is the basis of addiction. Abrupt withdrawal can be a dangerous shock, and gradually cutting down can be a very slow and painful process. Either method often results in failure or in lasting anxiety, depression, insomnia and other unpleasant symptoms. The drugs or alcohol have dug their own hole, which now only they can fill. This chemical dependence adds another problem to any health problems the person may have had before using the substances.

The reason drugs and alcohol can so easily alter the brain is that it is not designed for this type of prolonged or heavy chemical exposure. brain develops very slowly during childhood and adolescence in a carefully balanced way, and these substances throw off that important balance. The body does not always have adequate quantities of protein repair materials naturally available to repair this type of damage.

If a patient does relapse, a simple one or two day booster can be sufficient for restoration provided the patient returns for a booster as soon as possible after using or if cravings return.

Addiction is a disease in the body and the mind and successful therapy depends on treating both.  MindBody medicine is based on the unity of mind and body and focuses on promoting health and balance in the mindbody, thereby providing highly effective therapy for addiction.  If you detoxify, or withdraw, from alcohol or a drug, but do not address the conditions in the body that create fatigue, depression, and anxiety, then relapse is more likely and therapy has been incomplete. Similarly, if you withdraw from a substance and do not understand the psychological and spiritual issues that promoted the need for it, then relapse is likely and the “lessons of disease” have not been learned.

The body

Integrative, or, functional medicine provides the tools to assess and treat the conditions in the body that contribute to fatigue, depression, and anxiety, thereby increasing the likelihood of chemical dependency.  These include:

  • Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) deficiency
  • Neurotransmitter deficiency (serotonin, GABA, adrenaline, noradrenaline, dopamine, etc.)
  • Metabolic cofactor deficiency
  • Pyroluria
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Intestinal yeast overgrowth
  • Delayed onset food sensitivities
  • Gluten intolerance
  • And more

These “terrain issues” in the body need to be properly treated in order to make detoxification easier and to prevent relapse.

The mind and spirit

However, addiction is also disease in the mind. As the great psychoanalyst Dr. Franz Alexander, wrote: “The fact that the mind rules the body is, in spite of its neglect by biology and medicine, the most fundamental fact which we know about the process of life…”

The origins of most physical disease are within consciousness – the body is the messenger of the conflicts, sustained fears, suppressed emotional traumas, disturbed patterns of thinking, and other imbalances that lie within the conscious and unconscious mind.  Many people have painful childhood experiences, including patterns of neglect, smothering control, abandonment, and emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Later on there can be failed relationships, years of marital conflict, and the pain of loneliness. Many experience decades of unfulfilled employment, foiled personal creativity and the quiet desperation of a slowly dying spirit. These life experiences contribute to relentless anxiety, depression, denied emotions, destructive beliefs, hopelessness, helplessness, “giving up”, and an endless variety of recurrent stresses.

Dis-ease of any kind is the body’s way of getting your attention and inviting this self-exploration, thereby offering true healing.

Brain dis-ease – Reward Deficiency Syndrome

Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain that help to control states of consciousness, including moods. Serotonin and GABA down-regulate electrical activity in the brain, thereby contributing to calm, peacefulness, or less anxiety.  Adrenaline and nor-adrenaline up-regulate electrical activity thereby promoting excitement, motivation, or, reducing depression and apathy.  Dopamine is the “feel good” brain chemical.  It is the dance of these electro-chemicals that produce emotional balance and feelings of well-being.

When the proper flow, or cascade, of these neurochemicals is impaired, or, the brain’s receptors are blocked, then a variety of problems can develop, including:

  • Mood instability
  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Apathy
  • Impaired concentration
  • Trouble focusing
  • Despair

A host of medical and lifestyle issues can disturb the healthy flow of neurotransmitters, including chronic stress, alcohol, drug abuse, genetics, poor diet, digestive disturbances and malabsorption, micronutrient deficiency and more.  The result can be Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS), a term primarily used for hereditary chemical imbalances wherein the pleasure centers, which regulate feelings of well being in the brain, fail to receive appropriate neural signals.  As a result, the brain sends out urgent messages of craving. In the brains of addicts, various neurotransmissions are affected, depending upon the drug or drugs that have been used. As a result addicts experience difficulty concentrating and have mood swings, for example, as well as having other physical symptoms. Collectively, these symptoms are called cravings and withdrawals. Craving and withdrawal symptoms are a result of a neurochemical imbalance in the brain.

It is the Reward Deficiency Syndrome that causes the compulsive use of alcohol and drugs that help to feel good, at least temporarily. In addition to alcohol, people use nicotine, other stimulants, illicit drugs, junk foods, sugars, or thrill-seeking behaviors such as gambling, sex and Internet porn. Unfortunately, this only provides temporary relief while bringing with it the possibility of more long-term problems.

Summary:

How do we feel pleasure?

The presence of dopamine, a neurotransmitter, in the synapses of the reward center of the brain is directly related to every feeling of pleasure we experience, from eating good food to falling in love. Other neurotransmitters mediate other emotions and attitudes.

How do people become addicted?

As people continue to use addictive substances, receptor function decreases, which requires the increased use of substances for pleasure or just a sense of well being. In the absence of external substances, the body experiences a neurotransmission deficit. Some people begin by taking drugs to feel high while others begin by innocently increasing their prescription use to achieve the original effect. There are as many reasons to become addicted as there are people who become addicted. In most cases, NO ONE begins by believing they will become a slave to an external power which completely consumes and controls their life.

What is withdrawal?

When a chemically dependent person is denied access to a substance to which s/he is addicted, the addicted brain goes into a frenzy that manifests itself in the physical symptoms of withdrawal. The symptoms may be life threatening and may induce agitation, hallucinations, intestinal upsets, severe muscular aches, etc. After withdrawal, the body may be completely free of the addicting substance, yet neurotransmitters of the brain are still not in balance. This may lead to physical feelings of craving, an almost overwhelming desire to use the substance again.

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