amino-acids-and-addiction-recovery

Amino Acids and Addiction Recovery

Between 40 to 60% of people who are treated for an addiction or alcoholism relapse within a year. By choosing the right addiction therapy, you could reduce your chances of a relapse.

What is the connection between amino acids and addiction therapy? How can it benefit you during your road to recovery?

In this guide, we’ll cover the basics about the relationship between amino acids and addiction recovery so that you can make an informed decision before seeking addiction treatment. You might find the integration of amino acids in your addiction treatment is exactly what you’ve been searching for.

Read on to learn more!

What are Amino Acids?

The human body is made up of about 20% protein. The building blocks for these proteins are known as amino acids.

Amino acids provide the basic building blocks for all of your cells, hormones, and neurotransmitters. Ensuring that you get enough protein in your diet helps to improve your mood and athletic performance. 

There are a total of twenty different amino acids that the human body needs to help us grow and function. Nine of those amino acids are essential, meaning that we must get them from our diet. The other eleven can be synthesized by the body. 

The nine essential amino acids include:

  • Tryptophan
  • Valine
  • Threonine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Lysine
  • Leucine
  • Isoleucine
  • Histidine

Your body doesn’t create these amino acids on its own. Instead, your diet ensures you receive these amino acids. When you eat high protein foods like poultry, eggs, meat, or legumes, your body breaks the protein down into the specific amino acids contained in those foods. Your body can then use these amino acids to create the structure of your cells and build important chemicals like neurotransmitters. 

What is Amino Acid Therapy?

Amino acid therapy is the specialized supplementation of amino acids to support the body and brain in healing from addiction. 

Nutritional imbalances and malnourishment are a common side effect of substance abuse. When an individual is actively using drugs or alcohol they may not be eating enough calories or eating a balanced diet. For example, someone using stimulants may not have an appetite and could go days without eating. Or, a heavy drinker may be depleted in B vitamins which the body uses to metabolize alcohol.

In early recovery, it is important to nourish the body and replenish any specific nutritional deficiencies. Our doctor and nutrition coordinator work together to provide a balanced diet as well as supplementation to replenish depleted nutrients.

Amino acid therapy is specifically designed to boost the intake of specific nutrients that support the recovery of individuals struggling with addiction. Replenishing your body with the necessary amino acids can reduce cravings, mood swings, and the physical pain associated with the withdrawal from addictive substances. Amino acids can ease an addict’s dependency on their substance of choice reducing rates of relapse.  

Amino Acid Therapy for Recovery from Substance Abuse

At Bridging the Gaps, we focus on healing the whole person. Traditional treatment addresses the psychological aspect of addiction through counseling and the spiritual aspect of addiction through programs like AA or NA. We take it one step further and also address the physiological aspects of addiction. 

Dependence on substances is driven by an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. A neurotransmitter is a chemical substance that transmits a signal from one neuron to the next. Research suggests that multiple neurotransmitter systems may play a key role in the development of addiction.

Remember, amino acids are precursors to neurotransmitters. At Bridging the Gaps, we identify and target the depleted neurotransmitters in the brain that drive substance abuse. Amino acid therapy is utilized to provide the specific nutrients the body needs to build its own neurotransmitters and rebalance the brain. 

The Benefits of Amino Acid Therapy

Without amino acids and neurotransmitters, you could experience neurotransmitter depletion. Some symptoms of depleted neurotransmitters include:

  • Anxiety
  • Memory loss
  • Insomnia
  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Addiction disorders

What’s the connection between amino acids and addiction therapy, then?

One example of a neurotransmitter is serotonin. Serotonin is well known for its antidepressant effects, but low levels of this neurotransmitter are also correlated to alcoholism

When an individual is recovering from an addiction to alcohol, their serotonin levels may be depleted. Amino acid therapy provides the specific amino acids and vitamins that support the brain in making more serotonin.  

Amino acid therapy focuses on rebuilding the body and mind on a cellular level. This process could restore normal chemical production in the brain. Stabilizing brain function can help reduce cravings. Improving your neurotransmitter levels could improve your chances of successful rehabilitation and recovery.

Why Use Supplementation?

In early recovery, it’s not enough to eat and hope your body gets the amino acids it needs. Instead, you can use amino acid therapy to ensure your body receives the ideal levels of amino acids. It is important to talk to a healthcare provider who can formulate the correct dosage and blend of nutrients for your specific needs. 

Timing your supplementation is important to this process. When you’re between meals, the circulating amino acids within your bloodstream become depleted. At Bridging the Gaps we provide additional protein supplementation between meals which ensures that amino acids are readily available. When your body consistently gets the nutrients it needs, your mood and energy levels will be more stable. 

Amino acids can treat addiction by addressing withdrawal symptoms. You can ensure your body gets the specific amino acids it needs to minimize the symptoms of abstinence associated with withdrawing from drugs and alcohol.

Amino Acids and Addiction Treatment

Set yourself up for success. With amino acid therapy, you can provide your body with the building blocks it needs for a successful recovery. Learn more about amino acids and addiction therapy today!

Want to learn more about your options? We’re here to help. We specialize in focusing on the roots of addiction to build a bridge to wellness.

Contact us today to get started.

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